Florida Gators vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles – NCAAM March 21

NCAA Tournament, Round of 32 – South Region

(7) Florida (15-9, 9-7) vs. (15) Oral Roberts (17-10, 10-5)

  • Time: 4:45PM PST | 6:45PM CST | 7:45PM EST
  • Location: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, IN
  • TV: truTV

Opening Tip

The Florida Gators and Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles lace them up for the first time on the hardwood after the Gators outlasted Virginia Tech in overtime and the Golden Eagles fit into Cinderella’s slipper after their 75-72 overtime decision over 2-seed Ohio State.

The Gators are one of only 11 teams to win at least one game in NCAA Tournament play since 2017 although the Gators have lost three out of their last five and are 5-5 over the last 10 games.

Oral Roberts has won six in a row after capturing the Summit League championship last weekend and the subsequent pst of Ohio State. National leading scorer Max Abmas was the Summit League Player of the Year and Kevin Obanor joined him on the league’s all-first team.

Vs. The Spread

Florida:

  • The Gators are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of the last 10 Gators’ games
  • Florida is 1-5 ATS in it’s last 6 games in March

ORU:

  • The Golden Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 7 of the last 10 Golden Eagles’ outings
  • The total has gone OVER in the last 7 ORU games

Last Time Out

Florida’s Colin Castleton finally got his game back together with 19 points and 13 rebounds and then Tre Mann played 44 minutes and hit the game’s key shot as Florida took down Virginia Tech, 75-70, in overtime. Mann hit a three off the right wing to put Florida ahead 74-70 with under a minute to play in the overtime. The Gators took the lead at the outset of the extra session and never trailed as the Hokies cut it to one twice in OT.

Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor combined for 59 points as Oral Roberts took down Ohio State, 75-72 in overtime. Obanor made four free throws in the last 1:07 of overtime and then he made two layups in the first 1:33 of the overtime to give the Golden Eagles a 68-64 lead and ORU never trailed again.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Florida +9 (-110) +350 O 149.5 (-115)
ORU -9 (-110) -430 U 149.5 (-105)

Advantage, Florida

As Tre Mann (15.9 ppg, 40.4%-3) goes, so go the Gators. Mann has had an incredible year and will need to be on point against ORU point guard Max Abmas on both ends of the floor. ORU is 249th in the NCAA in adjusted defensive efficiency. That that number, though, only goes so far when discussing the scoring power of the Golden Eagles. Mann entered the NCAA Tournament averaging 23.5 points over his last four games while posting a career-high 30 vs. Tennessee.

The Gators need Colin Castleton’s inside punch as he came alive vs. Virginia Tech, as we noted above. Castleton can become disinterested and lack motivation if he doesn’t get scoring opportunities and convert early in games. Going into the VT game, he was only 11-of-24 with an average of 7.7 points over his four prior games in 21.3 minutes per contest. The key is working harder to get shots.

Key Gators Stat:

Tyree Appleby and Noah Locke can loosen the perimeter for Mann in this game. ORU allows 34.3 percent on the perimeter and only seven threes per game though. Locke leads Florida in makes with 54 and shoots 40.4 percent and Appleby gets to the rim off the dribble where he has shot 80.6 percent on 102 makes.

X-Factor:

Florida averages 20.9 turnovers per 100 possessions (275th/NCAA) which wets up at 14.8 per game. ORU is not high-yield in forcing the turnovers so the Gators – whether on the perimeter or in the paint – have to be very careful with unforced errors as they are at 10.5 percent in non-steal turnover percentage (234th/NCAA).

Advantage, Oral Roberts

The inside-inside-outside scoring punch of Max Abmas (24.4 ppg) and Kevin Obanor (18.6 ppg) will also be as much of a problem for Florida as it was Ohio State. Abmas has made 43.6 percent of his threes while Obanor makes 46.4 percent from three as he is a 6-8 post that totally stretches defenses. The Golden Eagles are the top three-point shooting team in the nation at 11.3 and they are the top free-throw shooting team as well at 82.2 percent as Abmas makes 88.9 percent and Obanor is at 88.8 percent.

Florida defends the three at a 30.5 percent clip as nine of the Gators’ last 12 opponents have shot 30 percent or less from the three-point line.

Key Golden Eagles Stat:

ORU’s Obanor has to step on the boards vs. the Gators as he averages 9.5 per game, but ORU gets out rebounded by (-4.2). Much of the rebound stat is due to the shooting prowess of the Golden Eagles. Despite Castleton’s team-leading 6.2 boards per game, the Gators only outbound their foes by (+1.6). Tre Mann, for the point guard is a menace on the boards as he reaches for 5.6 per outing.

X-Factor:

Talking about turnovers, the Golden Eagles are a clean ball-handling team as they only average 11.3 miscues per game. The Gators have averaged 16.2 per game over their last five, so this is a stat that bears watching as well as how the Golden Eagles do on the offensive end off of Florida turnovers.

Winner: Florida 74, ORU (+9) 70

The Bets
Oral Roberts +9
-110
Florida Gators
-430
UNDER 149.5
-105
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.