Candy 16 certain: No. 15 seed Oral Roberts stuns Florida 81-78

Oral Roberts turned simply the second No. 15 seed to advance to the spherical of 16 by gorgeous No. 7 seed Florida 81-78

INDIANAPOLIS — Oral Roberts pulled off yet one more upset to change into simply the second No. 15 seed in NCAA Match historical past to advance to the spherical of 16 with an 81-78 victory over Florida on Sunday evening.

Kevin Obanor and Max Abams carried the Golden Eagles out of an 11-point deficit to knock off the Gators. Oral Roberts, which opened the event with a shocking upset over No. 2 seed Ohio State, will subsequent attempt to knock off No. 3 seed Arkansas subsequent weekend.

Obanor scored 28 factors and Abmas, the common season nationwide main scorer, completed with 26 because the Golden Eagles (18-10) closed the sport on a 25-11 run to beat the 11-point lead Florida held with lower than 10 minutes remaining.

Oral Roberts joins Florida Gulf Coast — these guys from Dunk Metropolis — as the one No. 15 seeds to succeed in the spherical of 16 in event historical past.

The Oral Roberts followers inside Indiana Famers Coliseum chanted “Cinderella” throughout a wild celebration after the victory.

The prospect to succeed in the Candy 16 was a message hammered house by coach Paul Mills after the opening spherical victory over Ohio State. In the event that they loved beating the Buckeyes, Mills stated, per week reveling in transferring onto the subsequent spherical could be even higher.

They’ll get that probability.

Oral Roberts took a 77-76 lead — its first lead since late within the first half — on Obanor’s basket with lower than 3 minutes remaining. Noah Locke answered for the Gators, however DeShang Weaver, who missed his first 5 photographs, hit an open 3-pointer for an 80-78 lead with 2:08 remaining.

Florida had probability however didn’t get good photographs on its last few possessions. The Gators had a pair of turnovers, Locke missed a nook 3-pointer and after Obanor cut up free throws, troublesome 3-point makes an attempt by Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis have been off line.

Mann led the Gators (15-10) with 19 factors, however went quiet late within the second half, failing to attain over the ultimate 17 minutes.

Locke completed with 17 factors and Colin Castleton and Tyree Appleby each added 14 for the Gators. However there might be loads of anger and frustration after dropping within the second spherical for the third straight NCAA look and a sport Florida will felt it gave away.

The Gators shot 55 %. They outrebounded the smaller Golden Eagles 37-24 and had 42 factors within the paint. However Florida dedicated 20 turnovers and had simply three made baskets over the ultimate 9½ minutes.

Within the eight earlier cases of a No. 15 seed taking part in within the spherical of 32, solely Florida Gulf Coast was capable of preserve its magical run going. “Dunk Metropolis” ousted San Diego State within the second spherical earlier than dropping to Florida within the Candy 16.

Most instances, the elation of pulling off the first-round upset led to a second-round rout. Solely Coppin State in 1997 misplaced by lower than 10 factors, an 82-81 defeat to Texas.


One of many largest choices of the sport got here with 3:11 left after Oral Roberts pulled inside 76-75. The Golden Eagles fouled Florida’s Osayi Osifo, a 50% free-throw shooter on the season, as quickly because the ball obtained in his palms. Osifo missed the front-end of a one-and-one and Obanor scored to provide the Golden Eagles the lead.


Florida had Appleby again on the ground after struggling a gash on his head in opposition to Virginia Tech that knocked him out of the sport. The Gators additionally had Omar Payne return after being held out by a coach’s choice for the opener. Payne was ejected from the SEC Match quarterfinals early within the second half for a flagrant-2 foul in opposition to Tennessee’s John Fulkerson. Fulkerson suffered a concussion and facial fracture and didn’t play in Tennessee’s loss to Oregon State.

Payne 4 factors in 11 minutes.


The Golden Eagles confronted Arkansas earlier this season, dropping to the Razorbacks 87-76 on Dec. 20.


Extra AP school basketball: and—Top25

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