Oral Roberts upset: No. 15 seed pulls off the first shocker of NCAA tournament in beating Ohio State

ByKevin Dotson, CNN, CNNWire
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Oral Roberts forward on big March Madness upset
Oral Roberts forward Kevin Obanor on the team's big March Madness upset.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first upset of March Madness was a historic one as the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles soared over the second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday in an overtime thriller in the tournament's first round.

The game was only the ninth time in the history of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament that the No. 15 seed has upset the No. 2 seed and the first time since 2016 when Middle Tennessee beat Michigan State.

Oral Roberts and Ohio State went toe to toe as the two squads exchanged the lead nine times in a game that needed five minutes of overtime to determine a winner at Mackey Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Oral Roberts was led by forward Kevin Obanor with 30 points and guard Max Abmas with 29 points. Both players scored more points than Ohio State's leading scorer, forward E.J. Liddell.

Oral Roberts Unversity -- an evangelical school in Tulsa, Oklahoma -- hasn't had its men's basketball team make the NCAA Tournament in 13 years.

Buckeyes guard Duane Washington Jr. had an open look at a game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds but was unable to connect.

The Golden Eagles will be an underdog once again as they meet the seventh-seeded Florida Gators on Sunday in the second round of the tournament. This is Oral Roberts first trip beyond the first round of the Big Dance since 1974.

In another upset Friday, the 12th-seeded Pac-12 champion Oregon State Beavers upset the fifth-seeded Tennessee Volunteers 70-56.

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