Oral Roberts Shocked Ohio State In The First Round Of The 2021 NCAA Tournament

For the ninth time in college basketball history and the first time since 2016, a 15-seed has beaten a 2-seed in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Oral Roberts, the champions of the Summit League, took down the mighty Ohio State Buckeyes in an overtime thriller, 75-72. The win marks the second time in program history that the Golden Eagles advanced past the first round of the Tournament.

Oral Roberts, which had not made it to the Big Dance since 2008 and entered Friday afternoon as 16.5-point underdogs, won this game by demolishing the Buckeyes from behind the three-point line and protecting the basketball. They made 11 of their 35(!) attempts from three — Ohio State only made five — and forced the Buckeyes into 15 turnovers while only giving the ball away six times.

The stars of the show were big man Kevin Obamor and fearless guard Max Abmas, who combined to score 59 of the team’s 75 points. The former battled admirably against the Buckeye frontcourt, going 9-for-21 from the field and 5-for-12 from three while hauling in 11 rebounds. The latter, the nation’s top scorer, was likewise dynamic, going 10-for-24 from the field and 5-for-10 from three. They both hit big shots and battled all game, taking it to the Ohio State defense.

On the other side of the floor, the usually efficient Buckeye offense couldn’t get into any sort of a rhythm against the Golden Eagle defense. Ohio State shot 29-for-67 (43.3 percent) from the field, 5-for-23 (21.7 percent) from three, and 9-for-18 at the charity stripe. Despite the fact that they mauled a smaller Oral Roberts team on the glass, outrebounding them by 15, their propensity to turn the ball over and inability to hit shots when it mattered was ultimately their undoing.

With the win, the Golden Eagles will go on to play seventh-seeded Florida on Sunday.