Oral Roberts! | National Review

Oral Roberts! | National Review

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles guard Max Abmas (3) shoots the ball against Ohio State Buckeyes forward E.J. Liddell (32) and guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) during the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind., March 19, 2021. (Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports)

The NCAA tournament is the best sports festival on the planet, and for evidence, look no further than Oral Roberts, a 15-seed, taking down Ohio State, a 2, this afternoon.

My approach to the tournament is to always root for the upset, pretty much no matter what. Now, this reflex came back to bite me big time a couple of years ago. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted forlornly rooting for a 16 to beat a 1, and, of course, UMBC finally did it against my beloved UVA.

Anyway, the game this afternoon had all the hallmarks of a classic underdog fade-out. Oral Roberts led most of the way, then Ohio State pulled ahead with under four minutes to go, and usually when that happens, before you know it, the better team is ahead by 8 or 10 points.

Instead, Oral Roberts hung tough, got it into overtime, and won. It’s not unheard of for a 15 to beat a 2:

But it’s exhilarating and gratifying all the same. Congrats to ORU, and let’s hope it’s a sign of things to come in the first couple of rounds.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.