IT’S FINALLY HERE! MARCH MADNESS! The Buckeyes are relevant in March, and they have a real chance at a national title this season. This article will be a run-down of Ohio State’s first-round matchup with #15 seeded Oral Roberts (16-10). I will be doing matchup previews for every round until the conclusion of Ohio State’s season. From there, I will be doing a season recap article. With that being said, let’s dive in!
Max Abmas isn’t just Oral Roberts leading scorer, but he is the nation’s leading scorer with 24 PPG. Abmas has shot 48% from the field and 43% from three. He also averages 1.5 steals per game. Abmas is also a solid playmaker for Oral Roberts, averaging just under 4 assists per game. They also have big man Kevin Obanor, who averages nearly a double-double at 18 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game. Obanor shoots over 50% from the field, and has actually shot phenomenally well from three this season (47%).
Oral Roberts plays fast, and they play small. It sounds pretty similar to Ohio State, but this should play into the advantage of the Buckeyes more than Oral Roberts. They’ve played some stiff competition this year, losing in close games to Oklahoma State and Wichita State. They also played with Arkansas and Oklahoma for a large portion of the game, while getting obliterated by Missouri.
They can play with some well-known, top teams in the country, so OH State can’t sleep on the Abmas-led Oral Roberts squad that averages over 81 points a night. They shoot from three extremely well, hitting over 11 per night at a 39% rate. They also rarely struggle from the free-throw line, shooting over 82% from the charity stripe. They can get out and pressure the basketball defensively too, averaging 6 steals per game.
Ohio State plays the Golden Eagles at 3:00 PM ET on CBS on Friday, March 19. The winner of this game will play the winner of #7 Florida vs #10 Virginia Tech on Monday, March 22.
Photo Credit: Buckeyes Wire