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Bracket busting Oral Roberts upsets Florida, advances to Sweet 16

Oral Roberts University has become the belle of the ball after upsetting Florida on Sunday night in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to make the Sweet 16.

The Golden Eagles are only the second No. 15 seed to make it this far in the men’s tournament, joining Florida Gulf Coast University, which made it to the same round in 2013 before, ironically, losing to Florida.


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Oral Roberts won the Summit League championship to get the automatic bid. The team knocked off North Dakota, South Dakota State and North Dakota State to earn the conference title. The team then beat Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The team has been lifted by incredible performances from Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas.

Obanor scored 30 points in the overtime victory against Ohio State and 28 points against Florida. Abmas added 29 points against the Buckeyes and 26 points against the Gators. They have been the only Golden Eagles players to score at least 10 points in their first two tournament games.


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Oral Roberts doesn’t have an extensive men’s basketball history. The private evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was founded in 1963 and it was nine years later when they joined NCAA Division I basketball as an independent school. The school only boasts about 4,000 undergraduate students.

It wouldn’t be until 1984 when Oral Roberts would make another NCAA Tournament. However, the Dick Acres-led squad was bounced from the first round.

Oral Roberts would make the tournament for three consecutive seasons between 2006 and 2008 but wouldn’t make it past the first round. The 2007-08 season would be last time Oral Roberts made the tournament before this season’s appearance.

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