No. 15 Oral Roberts rallies to counter No. 7 Florida in NCAA Men’s Tournament | Launderer report

 No. 15 Oral Roberts rallies to counter No. 7 Florida in NCAA Men's Tournament |  Launderer report

AJ Mast / Associated press

Cinderella is still dancing.

After knocking down second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament, 15th-seeded Oral Roberts Golden Eagles overcame a double-digit deficit and shocked the seventh-seeded Florida Gators. seeded 81-78 in the second round on Sunday. clash at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.

Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor paved the way for the winners, who qualified for the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 1973-74 season.

A strong performance from Tre Mann wasn’t enough for the Gators, who haven’t passed the second round since 2017.

Notable player statistics

  • Kevin Obanor, F, OR: 28 PTS, 11 REB, 4 STL
  • Max Abmas, G, OR: 26 PTS, 7 AST, 2 STL, 2 REB
  • Tre Mann, G, FL: 19 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST
  • Noah Locke, G, FL: 17 PTS, 4 REB
  • Colin Castleton, F, FL: 14 PTS, 10 REB, 3 BLK
  • Tyree Appleby, G, FL: 14 PTS, 5 AST, 3 STL

Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor keep putting on a show

Oral Roberts has already proven this isn’t your typical No.15 seed with a win over a Big Ten powerhouse, but a glance at his offense confirms it.

With the launch of Abmas and Obanor, the Golden Eagles finished tied for 10th in the country in the regular season with 81.8 points per game. The pair also had a lot of momentum heading into Sunday’s game after accumulating 59 points in the win over the Buckeyes.

Abmas picked up where he left off against the Gators and racked up 16 points in the first half by connecting on several triples and cutting into the lane whenever defenders pressed his outside shot.

He kept Oral Roberts on hand despite an impressive performance from Mann on the other end, which the Cinderella candidate could have asked for for the second half.

He needed help, however, and Obanor found his touch-in-goal in the second half as the Golden Eagles fell behind by double digits.

Obanor connected on a four-point clutch set to trigger a race and took over in tight time after his team fell behind six. He converted a and-1 to reduce the lead to three, responded to an and-1 at the other end with a three, put his team in the lead with a jumper in the lane with less than three minutes left. late and pierced a clutch free throw with 17 seconds remaining to push the advantage to three.

The two-man game was enough against Ohio State, and it also got the job done against Florida. No other Oral Roberts player has scored in double digits, but that didn’t matter with Abmas and Obanor lighting up the scoreboard in yet another upset.

Florida collapses with turnover

It looked like Florida had taken a break when the Golden Eagles shocked the world in the first round.

It’s not very often a No.7 seed who plays a No.15 seed, but the Gators had yet to seize the opportunity. That meant starting the offense against an Oral Roberts defense who signed up at No.249 on rankings and didn’t have the balls to face Mann.

It was clear from the start that the Golden Eagles had no answer for the All-SEC first-team selection, which did a bit of everything in the first half to put the Gators in the lead.

While Noah Locke and Anthony Duruji provided a secondary score, it was Mann who fought for boards from the backcourt, aided when needed and found openings in the defense to create shots for himself and for the others.

It was Mann who also had three triples in the opening minutes of the second half, which allowed the Gators to finally create a split with a double-digit lead after a first-half round trip.

Florida looked set to sail to the finish line after that push, especially with Tyree Appleby distributing assists, Locke hitting from groundstroke and Colin Castleton establishing low against an oversized frontcourt. However, he was never able to fully retire due to 20 turnovers.

The Gators haven’t scored a single point in the final two minutes and have had several turnovers in that span, and it took a toll on them.

And after?

The Golden Eagles will face the third-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks in a Sweet 16 showdown in the South Region.


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