Oral Roberts stuns Gators with 81-78 win, advances to Sweet Sixteen

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 21: Kareem Thompson #2 of the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles shoots against Anthony Duruji #4 of the Florida Gators in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 2

Is Oral Roberts the Cinderella team of this year's NCAA Tournament?

The Golden Eagles upended the South Region with its 75-72 overtime win over Ohio State on Friday, earning a second-round game against No. 7 Florida.  The team rallied in the final minutes of Sunday's game to beat the Gators 81-78.

The Gators also were stretched to overtime in their 75-70 win over No. 10 Virginia Tech. A tight Florida-Virginia Tech game was no surprise, but few expected to see a close battle between Oral Roberts and Ohio State, much less the Golden Eagles becoming the ninth 15 seed to win a tournament game.

Before defeating Ohio State, the private evangelical university based in Tulsa, Oklahoma had not won its first NCAA Tournament game since 1974. That team would end up advancing to the Elite Eight but was eventually defeated by Kansas in overtime, 93-90. The last appearance for the Golden Eagles in the NCAA Tournament was in 2008, when the team lost its First Round match to Pittsburgh 82-63.

Now, the Golden Eagles advance to the Sweet Sixteen to meet No. 3 Arkansas.  Just a little over 100 miles separate the two schools, which have already faced off on the court this season. The two teams met in Fayetteville on Dec. 20, when the Razorbacks were the ones to rally from behind, overcoming a nine-point deficit to win  87-76 at Bud Walton Arena.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.