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Oral Roberts University players pray after NCAA tournament upset win over Ohio

Oral Robert University basketball players prayed and gave thanks to God after their upset win. The team recorded the biggest upset of March Madness when the No. 15 seed in its region knocked off No. 2 Ohio State University on Friday.

ORU was the first No. 15 seed since 2016 to win a tournament game. In 2016, Middle Tennessee beat Michigan State. Junior Kevin Obanor led his team to victory with 30 points and 11 rebounds. After the game, he told Fox 23 he was eternally grateful for the win.

“I’m thankful to Jesus Christ for putting us in this position,” Obanor said. “We want it very bad. It’s bigger than us, just to leave a legacy behind for ORU. I’m just very eternally grateful, and I just can’t wait to play tomorrow.”

It was a David vs. Goliath story as ESPN’s Men Tournament Challenge picked Ohio State over the Golden Eagles by 95 percent. Head coach Paul Mills said that despite 14 million people voting that they would lose, belief and hard work pulled them through.

“We were super-resilient and we were super tough-down the stretch, and I knew once we got into overtime we were going to win that thing,” Mills told his players. “From a together standpoint, from a belief standpoint it happened.”

Oral Roberts University’s mission is to develop Holy Spirit-empowered leaders through whole person education to impact the world. ORU alumnus Sean Feucht called the victory a real miracle. “Prayer really works,” he wrote on Instagram. “There is no way a #15 team beats one of the most prestigious sports programs in America. BUT GOD!!!”

Oral Roberts defeated the University of Florida on Sunday to advance to next weekend’s Sweet 16. ORU was founded by evangelist Oral Roberts in 1963. He died in 2009.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice