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Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Florida Gators Prediction: NCAA Tournament Second Round Preview

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Florida Gators Prediction: NCAA Tournament Second Round Preview

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Florida Gators Prediction: NCAA Tournament Second Round Preview

On Friday afternoon, Oral Roberts pulled off the stunner of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

The 15th-seeded Golden Eagles defeated No. Ohio State 75-72 in overtime. Now Oral Roberts will have a chance to continue its Cinderella run and reach the Sweet 16 with another upset, this time against No. 7 Florida.

The Gators also needed overtime to advance on Friday, outlasting No. 10 Virginia Tech 75-70.

Sunday will be the first time the Golden Eagles and Gators have met on the hardwood. Florida has only faced Summit League teams twice in its history — both wins — beating the North Dakota State Bison in 2007 and the Kansas City Roos in 2008.

South Region: No. 15 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (17-10) vs. No. 7 Florida Gators (15-9)

Time: Sunday, March 21 at 7:45 p.m. ET

Where: Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis)

TV: truTV

Spread: Florida -8.0

Keys for Oral Roberts

In the game against Ohio State, the Golden Eagles got 30 points from Kevin Obanor and 29 from Max Abmas, who is the nation's leading scorer this season (24.2 ppg). Obanor also had a team-high 11 rebounds.

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Oral Roberts only turned the ball over six times to help pull off the upset of the Buckeyes. While it is unlikely the Golden Eagles could have a similar type of game, taking care of the basketball will be key against a talented Florida team.

Also, making the most of free-throw attempts will be critical. Oral Roberts was 14-for-18 from the charity stripe against Ohio State while the Buckeyes made just half (9-for-18) of their attempts.

Keys for Florida

Florida defeated Virginia Tech despite being shorthanded as third-leading scorer Tyree Appleby took an elbow to the face midway through the second half.

The Gators also were without Omar Payne, who was ejected from the SEC Tournament for a flagrant-2 foul on Tennessee's John Fulkerson, who sustained a concussion and facial fracture.

It is unknown if Appleby and Payne will play against Oral Roberts. If one or both are unable to go, Colin Castleton, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Hokies, will need to come up big again. Florida had three others score in double figures on Friday, including Scottie Lewis chipping in 15 points off of the bench.

As a team, the Gators shot 56.5 percent from the field in the win over Virginia Tech but need to do a better job from long range after going 5-for-13 (38.5 percent ) on 3-pointers. Florida also was 18-for-27 (67 percent) from the foul line, which probably won't get the job done in a close game.

Final Analysis

If Florida goes cold and plays the way it did at times against Virginia Tech in the second half, the Gators could be in trouble. This is a dangerous Oral Roberts team who upset a team that some were picking to reach the Final Four.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Florida

Florida is not only the more talented team but, also bigger in terms of size. The Gators will need to use their size to their advantage. If they can win the rebounding battle and rack up the points in the paint, the Gators should advance to the Sweet 16.

Prediction: Florida 70, Oral Roberts 66

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.