Two days after an unlikely win over two-seeded Ohio State, Oral Roberts has done it again. The Golden Eagles beat Florida 7 81-78 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, advancing to the Sweet 16 in the process.
The victory marked not only the second March Madness victory for the program since 1974, but also the second time, in history, a 15th place advance to the second weekend of play. The first time it happened was in 2013, when Florida’s Gulf Coast “Dunk City” burst into March Madness with a series of earth-shaking dunks and a pair of victories.
Given the historical rarity of Oral Roberts and FGCU’s accomplishments, it’s only natural that the two teams face comparisons. Here’s how Oral Roberts compares to that high-flying team of Eagles, including opponents, margin of victory, key players, and more.
HISTORY OF SEED DISORDERS:
15 against 2 | 14 against 3 | 13 against 4 | 12 against 5
Story of 15 seeds in the Sweet 16
As noted, Oral Roberts in 2021 became the second No. 15 spot to advance past Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament. His predecessors, the 2013 Florida Gulf Coast team, were the first to accomplish the feat. The Eagles faced 3-seeded Florida in the 2013 Sweet 16, losing to the Gators 62-50 and ending their Cinderella streak.
Interestingly, Oral Roberts faces his own SEC opponent in Arkansas. Will the Golden Eagles venture into new territory for a 15th spot, or will the Golden Eagles suffer the same fate as FGCU?
Oral Roberts, FGCU Sweet 16 races
Florida Gulf Coast: 2 seeds Georgetown, 7 seeds from San Diego state, 3 seeds from Florida
The Eagles, winners of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Tournament, tied 2-seed Georgetown – a general offering – in the first round of March Madness. FGCU stunned Hoyas from John Thompson III, beating them 78-68 for a double-digit victory. Two days later, the Eagles did the feat again with another 10-point victory over seventh-seeded San Diego State, a Midwest general. Florida’s Gulf Coast dream season ended with a loss to 3rd seeded Florida, an overall, at Sweet 16.
Oral Roberts: 2-seeded Ohio State, 7-seeded Florida, 3-seeded Arkansas
The Golden Eagles, who earned their place in the tournament by beating North Dakota in the final of the 2021 Summit League Tournament, got their first offer since 2008. Oral Roberts drew Ohio State, the sixth seed overall in the tournament. and the runner-up of the Big Ten, for his problems. . But the Golden Eagles fought hard against the Buckeyes throughout the game, eventually claiming a 75-72 overtime victory. The Golden Eagles faced an equally difficult challenge against Florida in Round 2, needing to overcome an 11-point deficit in the final 9:43 to come back and win 81-78.
Margin of victory
Florida Gulf Coast: 10 points per game
Oral Roberts: Three points per game
Key players. Main players
Stats reflect NCAA tournament numbers
Florida Gulf Coast
- Sherwood Brown: 18.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.3 spg, .559 field goal percentage
- Bernard Thompson: 10 ppg, 5.3 Rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.7 bpg, .542 field goal percentage
- Brett Comer: 8.7 ppg, 10.3 apg, 4.0 rpg,
- Chase Fieler: 17.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.0 spg
The main man in charge was senior guard Sherwood Brown, the 2012-13 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, who surprisingly began his career as an assistant at the FGCU. Second-year guard Bernard Thompson and young Chase Fieler also averaged double-digit scores for the tournament, while second-year guard Brett Comer was the only player to average more than 10 assists per game.
- Max Abmas: 27.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.0 apg, .421 field goal percentage, .411 3-point shooting percentage
- Kevin Obanor: 29.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg, .486 field goal percentage
Second-year guard Max Abmas may make headlines for his incredible play – he led all Division I players in points per game heading into the tournament – but youth forward Kevin Obanor was just as impressive in the opening rounds. Both players averaged nearly 30 points per game, while Obanor averaged a double-double with 11 rebounds in each of his first two games.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.