No. 15 Seed Oral Roberts Upsets Ohio State in N.C.A.A. Tournament

No. 15 Seed Oral Roberts Upsets Ohio State in N.C.A.A. Tournament

No. 15 Seed Oral Roberts Upsets Ohio State in N.C.A.A. Tournament

No. 15 Seed Oral Roberts Upsets Ohio State in N.C.A.A. Tournament

Oral Roberts has joined an elite club.

Behind a combined 59 points from Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor, the Golden Eagles became just the ninth No. 15 seed ever to topple a 2 when they stunned Ohio State, 75-72, in overtime in the first round. It was the program’s first N.C.A.A. tournament win since 1974.

Some had Ohio State pegged as a potential Final Four team, but they are out and Oral Roberts advances to play No. 7 Florida on Sunday.

Oral Roberts became the first No. 15 seed to upset a No. 2 since Middle Tennessee State defeated Michigan State in 2016.

Other famous 15/2 upsets featured Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown in 2013, Lehigh over Duke in 2012 and Richmond over Syracuse in 1991.

Oral Roberts outscored Ohio State 11-8 in the extra period.

With Ohio State trailing 73-69, E.J. Liddell drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 73-72.

Obanor then made two free throws to push the lead to 75-72 with 13 seconds remaining. He finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds.

Ohio State missed two 3-point attempts in the final seconds.

“I didn’t know if it was going in or not. I knew that the guys weren’t going to quit on the play, and that’s a great basketball team we just beat. At the end of the day we knew they weren’t going to quit and we were able to come out with a victory,” said Abmas, the leading scorer in Division I. He poured in 29 points on 10-of-24 shooting for Oral Roberts, and had 18 at the half, when Oral Roberts led 36-33.

About 24 hours into the tournament, two Big Ten powers are out: Ohio State and Michigan State, which lost in a First Four game Thursday night to U.C.L.A.


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