Breaking down Ohio State’s basketball’s matchup against Oral Roberts

The second-seeded Ohio State Basketball team will be facing off against the fifteenth seeded Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The game will be taking place at 3:00 EDT on CBS. This is the Buckeyes’ first appearance in the big dance since the 2019 tournament where they took down the sixth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones and lost to the third-seeded Houston Cougars. This is the Golden Eagles’ first appearance in the tournament since the 2008 season where they made the big dance as a thirteen seed and were taken down by the fourth-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers in the first round.

The Buckeyes are going into the game as heavy favorites. According to Vegas Insiders, Ohio State are sixteen and a half point favorites. While this is a very large spread, it is well deserved for the Buckeyes considering the incredible run they had in the Big Ten tournament.

The Golden Eagles finished the season with a 16-10 record which landed them the 4th best record in the Summit conference. They have one of the most potent offenses in all of college basketball, averaging 81.8 points per game which is the 12th most in the entire NCAA.

While their offense is elite, their defense is very subpar. On average, the Golden Eagles give up 75.8 points per game which ranks them 293rd out of 347 teams in college basketball.

They are led by sophomore guard Max Abrams and junior forward Kevin Obanor.

Abrams stands at 6’1″ and 165lbs. His stat line on the season is an astronomical 24.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. The Buckeyes will have to zero in on him and do their best to stop him from going on a scoring tear.

The second player that Oral Roberts relies on heavily is Kevin Obanor. Obanor stands at 6’8″ and weighs 225lbs. He is a great scorer as well along with an animal on the boards. He averages 18.2 points per game and leads the team in rebounds per game with 9.5.

With the high-scoring and fast-paced basketball that the Golden Eagles are fond of, the Buckeyes will not be able to go on one of their notorious scoring droughts where they are only able to score from the free-throw line.

Luckily for the Ohio State basketball team, there is not a player on the opposing roster that is above 6’8″. Oftentimes in the Big Ten championship, the Buckeyes found themselves in very unfavorable matchups and being torn apart on the defensive end by opposing centers who stood nearly at seven feet or taller.

The Ohio State basketball team should have no issues tossing aside Oral Roberts and moving on to the round of 32 without much trouble. However, with the high-scoring potential that the Golden Eagles possess, they are capable of being a very dangerous fifteen seed that under the right circumstances could catch the Buckeyes off guard early in the game and jump out to a quick lead Ohio State will have to fight back from.