Oral Roberts will meet their next obstacle in the NCAA Tournament in the form of the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Eagles will fight for the opportunity to be the first No. 15 seed to make it to the elite eight. Although the Razorbacks enter the Sweet 16 matchup as a strong No. 3 seed, Arkansas would be wise to not overlook their underdog opponent. Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday, March 27 at 7:25 P.M.
Oral Roberts is going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1974.
The Golden Eagles are the second 15th seed to reach the Sweet 16, joining Florida Gulf Coast in 2013.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 22, 2021
More than the Number by their Name
The Oral Roberts Eagles have reached the Sweet 16 after muscling through two rounds with the underdog title. The Eagles overcame the No. 2 Ohio State in a major upset at 75-72 in overtime. Then, defeated No. 7 seed Florida Gators in an 81-78 battle. In all of history, the Eagles are only the second team with the No. 15 seed to make it to this round of tournament play. As a program, they have not made it this far since 1974. Head Coach Paul Mills explained that a tough out-of-conference schedule prepared them for tournament play.
Eagles’ Guard Max Abmas and forward Kevin Obanor are a duo that presents a threat to Arkansas and were major contributions to the two upsets that Oral Roberts has made thus far. Abmas currently leads the NCAA in points per game at 24.5 and sits in the number 2 spots for 3-point FGs with 97. Ambus explained how the team is defiant in rewriting program history and maintaining resilience.
Preparing for a Battle
Although the odds are in favor of the Razorbacks, Arkansas is not overlooking the matchup at all. According to guard Jalen Tate, watching the Golden Eagles rampage so far in the tournament motivates them to be even more locked in than ever.
“When a 15-seed beats a 2-seed, you don’t hear about that too often,” explained Tate. “And to go on to beat a 7-seed, when teams do that twice in a row, they feel like they have the utmost confidence to beat anybody in the country, let alone a 3-seed.”
The last time the two faced in December, Arkansas defeated Oral Roberts 87-76. Although, the Golden Eagles did maintain the lead through most of the game but ultimately the Razorbacks were able to close the gap in the second half. According to head coach Eric Musselman, Oral Roberts has appeared to have improved immensely since the last time the two met.
The Razorbacks enter the Sweet 16 winning the past 14 of their 16 games. A 68-66 win over Texas Tech on Sunday sent Arkansas to a sweet 16 spot that they have not seen since 1996.
THE RAZORBACKS HOLD ON 😱
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 22, 2021