NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship First Round
No. 15 Oral Roberts (16-10) vs. No. 2 Ohio State (21-9)
Game Date / Time: Friday, March 19, 2021 / 2 p.m. (CT)
Location: Mackey Arena / West Lafayette, Ind.
TV: CBS / March Madness Live
Live Stats: NCAA
Radio: 99.9FM ESPN Radio (Local) / Westwood One Radio (National)
TULSA, Okla. – Break out your dancing shoes as the No. 15 seed Oral Roberts men’s basketball team begins its NCAA Division I Championship quest Friday at 2 p.m. (CT) against No. 2 Ohio State live on CBS from Mackey Arena.
It’s the first NCAA tournament appearance for the Golden Eagles since 2008 trying to extend a season-long, five-game win streak as they play the Buckeyes for the first time in program history.
Ian Eagle and Grant Hill will provide the play-by-play and analysis for CBS, while Jamie Erdahl is on the sidelines for the crew.
ORU Game Notes
Opponent Game Notes
• The Golden Eagles play the Buckeyes for the first time in program history while making their sixth all-time appearance at the NCAA Championships and first since 2008. In its previous five trips to the Big Dance, ORU has a record of 2-5 with its last win coming March 14, 1974 against Louisville.
• ORU won three games in three days in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to claim The Summit League’s automatic bid as the tournament champion taking down North Dakota State in the finals, 75-72. The Golden Eagles got 20-point outings by Max Abmas (23) and Kevin Obanor (21) and built a 25-point lead at halftime before cutting down the nets.
• The Golden Eagles racked up postseason awards this week as Abmas became ORU’s first All-American since Dominique Morrison in 2011-12 landing on the AP All-America Honorable Mention Team, while also earning All-District honors from the NABC and USBWA. Obanor was named to the NABC All-District First Team as the program had two on the first team for the first time since 2013.
• Three ORU players earned All-Summit League accolades highlighted by Abmas being honored as Player of the Year, the eighth in school history (in any conference affiliation). He was joined on the first team by Obanor as the pair is the highest scoring duo in the nation combining for 1,060 points this season. RJ Glasper picked up a spot on the All-Newcomer Team behind 11.0 points per game and a 93-percent effort at the foul line.
• The Golden Eagles continue to top the 3-point shooting ranks in the NCAA hitting 11.3 per contest, led by Abmas, who ranks fourth in the country making 3.6 per game. Not only does ORU make a high volume from behind the arc, it does so at a high rate hitting 39 percent of attempts ranking eighth in the country.
• After making 47-of-52 free-throw attempts at the conference tournament, ORU took over the nation’s top spot as the best free-throw shooting team connecting on 82.4 percent of its shots, which would set a NCAA record for a single season. Abmas (89.9) and Obanor (88.1) are in the top 25 of the NCAA at ninth and 21st, respectively, in free-throw percentage.
• ORU currently has the NCAA’s 12th highest-scoring offense averaging 81.8 points per game that also leads The Summit League after posting its eighth 90-plus-point game of the season in the semifinals.
• Having scored 20 or more points in 11 of his last 12 games, Abmas remains the NCAA’s leading scorer averaging 24.2 points per game. He also sits fourth in the league averaging 3.7 assists and third with 1.5 steals per game. He became the 37th player in ORU history to reach 1,000 career points March 7 needing just 54 games to reach the milestone as the ninth-fastest to hit the mark in school history.
• Obanor has grabbed a league-leading 237 rebounds this season to rank 22nd in the country, while his 12 double-doubles are 14th. He currently ranks 14th in Golden Eagles history with 651 career rebounds and was the 18th player in team history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career reaching both in January.
• ORU played the nation’s third-toughest, non-conference schedule as all five of its road opponents reached the NCAA Tournament (Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Wichita State).
• ORU was picked to finish second in The Summit League Preseason Poll behind only defending regular season co-champion South Dakota State.
• The Golden Eagles have eight new faces for 2020-21 with two grad transfers (RJ Glasper, Justin Lovvorn), two junior college transfers (Sheldon Stevens, Kareem Thompson) and four freshmen (Jonathan Alexandre, Jamie Bergens, Nate Clover III, Ismael Plet).
For the latest information on ORU Men’s Basketball, follow the Golden Eagles on Twitter and Instagram, or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the ORU Athletics app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
COURTESY ORAL ROBERTS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS