For a moment, it appeared Oral Roberts’s magical March run would continue to a historic appearance in the Elite Eight. Instead, the Golden Eagles were forced to endure a heartbreaking exit.
Star guard Max Abmas’s potential game-winning 3-pointer was just off the mark, and Arkansas hung on for a 72-70 comeback victory to advance to the men’s program’s first Elite Eight since 1995.
With a win, Oral Roberts would have been the first No. 15 seed in tournament history to make it to the Elite Eight. The Golden Eagles were just the second No. 15 seed to make it to the Sweet 16 after Florida Gulf Coast shocked the world in 2013.
Oral Roberts led, 38-25, at halftime and was up by as many as 12 before Arkansas mounted its comeback. The Razorbacks took a 62-60 lead with just over five minutes to play on a layup by Jalen Tate, their first lead since midway through the first half.
Oral Roberts retook the lead on an and-1 play by Kevin Obanor with under two minutes to go. Arkansas quickly went back ahead on a Tate jumper, only for Oral Roberts to tie things up again on a free throw from Francis Lacis with 32 seconds to go.
The Razorbacks’ game-winner came courtesy of Davonte Davis, who shot 7-for-13 for 16 points and eight rebounds on the night.
Abmas, the nation’s leading scorer, finished the game with 25 points on 8-for-19 shooting, his 13th 25-point game of the season. Arkansas will take on No. 1 seed Baylor on Monday for a chance to advance to the program’s seventh Final Four.
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