Where Is Oral Roberts University Located?

March Madness often brings us moments where we learn about new schools we have never heard of before, or we wonder, “Where is that school from?” This was probably the case for many people when Oral Roberts defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Round of 64 during the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

So, since you’re probably wondering, here is where Oral Roberts University is located.

Where is Oral Roberts University located?

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Most schools typically have their state or city’s name within the name of their institution. Not Oral Roberts University, though.

In fact, Oral Roberts is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, right along the Arkansas River. 

According to Google Maps, it is actually not too far from the University of Tulsa, an American Athletic Conference school that even saw its basketball team go 21-10 in 2019-20, but last make the NCAA Tournament in 2015-16. Oral Roberts and the University of Tulsa are only 7.6 miles away from each other and about a 20-minute drive.

Although Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma with a population, as of 2019, of a little over 400,000, according to the U.S. Census, Oral Roberts is a pretty small school. In 2019, its enrollment was 4,163 students, according to the school’s site.

Oral Roberts upset the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 NCAA Tournament

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Yes, Ohio State is known for being a football school, and basketball-wise, it isn’t quite to the level of Duke, North Carolina, or Kentucky. But the Buckeyes still have a nice basketball tradition. 

Not including the 2019-20 season in which the NCAA canceled its tournament, Ohio State has made it to 12 of 15 NCAA Tournaments from 2005-06 through 2020-21. The Buckeyes also went to the Final Four in 2011-12 and the championship game in 2006-07. Additionally, Ohio State has also won a national championship, but that was all the way back in 1959-60.

Still, though, with Ohio State earning a two-seed in 2021 March Madness, many people didn’t expect 15-seeded Oral Roberts to have a chance. The Golden Eagles shocked the world, though, as they won 75-72 in overtime.

ORU saw two big performances from Max Abmas, who scored 29 points, and Kevin Obanor, who had 30 points and 11 rebounds. 

“We’re very confident,” Obanor said following the win, according to ESPN. “When they rank us, it’s only just a number at the end of the day. We put our shoes on just like they put their shoes on. … We just knew that we were the underdogs and we wanted to win for our brothers.”

Oral Roberts also held Ohio State’s dynamic guard, Duane Washington Jr., to only 7-of-21 shooting from the field. As a team, the Buckeyes also only shot 21.7% from 3-point range.

“I want to first begin by giving Oral Roberts credit,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said, per ESPN. “I thought they really played well, as we expected they would. I thought their two players that obviously concerned us were terrific. So give them, their coaches, their players, their program, the university a lot of credit for this win.”

The win was truly shocking, not only because Oral Roberts was a 15 seed but also because it does not have a history of being a basketball school.

Oral Roberts is not a basketball school

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The win over Ohio State was Oral Roberts’ first March Madness win since 1974. The school’s team name wasn’t even the Golden Eagles back then. According to ESPN, before the school called its athletic teams the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, they called them the Oral Roberts Titans.

Additionally, before 2020-21, Oral Roberts had not been to the tournament since 2007-08. That season was actually the last of a three-year stretch in which they went to the tourney in three consecutive seasons. Prior to that run, the school had not been to the tournament since 1983-84 and only once since 1974-75.

So, while Ohio State is not quite like a Duke in terms of its basketball tradition, it is compared to Oral Roberts. This made the school’s 2021 March Madness upset that much more shocking.

Stats courtesy of ESPN and Sports Reference