If you love college basketball, then you’ve no doubt heard of Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. This team is a member of the Summit League and represents Oral Roberts University (ORU) out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The team has a long history of conference championships, tournament championships, and frequent appearances in NCAA Tournaments, basketball invitationals, and even two CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournaments. Over 10,000 fans march out to the Mabee Center for every home game and now’s your chance to be a part of the crowd.
So don’t miss out! Because this season may be the best season of basketball for the ORU Golden Eagles and tickets are on sale now.
About Mabee Center
The ORU Golden Eagles play their home games out of Mabee Center, a 10,154-seat multi-purpose arena located on the ORU campus. The building first opened in 1972 and was designed by Frank Wallace, an architect responsible for most of the buildings on the ORU campus. And it was named after Tulsa oilman John Mabee whose foundation donated $1 million towards construction.
Since it opened in 1972, the Mabee Center has hosted several NAIA national men’s basketball championships, five NCAA men’s first round or regional tournaments. It is also frequently used for several concerts from big name musicians and bands across the world. And due to its fame as a prominent Oklahoma music destination, it was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Then in 2022, it celebrated it’s 50 years of family-friendly fun.
As you can guess, the facility has seen several upgrades and improvements, including a 2021 upgrade that added new arena seats, a brand new sound system, LED house lights, and several other improvements.
Over the course of the team’s playtime, they’ve amassed a wide variety of achievements. This includes six appearances in NCAA Tournaments, eight National Invitation Tournament appearances, one College Basketball Invitational game, and two CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament appearances. The Golden Eagles have also won seven regular season conference championships and six tournament championships. These achievements made the team famous in the Southland Conference and the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.
Here is a brief list of the team’s greatest seasons and events.
- NCAA tournament Elite Eight
- NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen
- NCAA tournament round of 32
- NCAA tournament appearances
1974, 1984, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2021
- Conference tournament champions
MCC: 1980, 1984
Summit: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2021
- Conference regular season champions
Summit: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2023
In 1974, the team was in its 8th season of varsity competition and they stole the show with an explosive performance that led to being three points away from making it to the Final Four. The team, known as the Titans at the time, finished with a 21-5 regular season record and received the NCAA bid. They proceeded to defeat Syracuse in overtime and Louisville at the Mabee Center to move on to the Elite Eight. But this incredible season came to an end against Kansas who came back from a nine-point deficit in the game’s final moments to push it into overtime.
The team had lost their main scorers, Caleb Green and Ken Tutt. So it was seen as unlikely for the team to repeat as Summit League Champions for the fourth consecutive year. However, a foursome of seniors and a newcomer pushed ORU to their most unlikely championship season. Seniors Moses Ehambe, Shawn King, Adam Liberty and Yemi Ogunoye led the charge for an ORU 24–9 overall record and a 16–2 conference record, which started with 13 straight wins.
The End of the Sutton Era
Earlier, on April 10, 2017, the team released their all-time winningest coach, Scott Sutton, after 18 years. Sutton finished with an overall record of 328-247. Afterwards, he was replaced by Paul Mills on April 28.
One of the most famous and recent notable moments for the team came in the 2021 tournament when the Golden Eagles recorded the ninth 15 vs 2 upset in tournament history. The team had defeated Ohio State 75-72 in overtime, which also marked their first tournament game win since 1974. Then, only two days later, the team became the second 15 seed (after the 2013 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles) to advance to the Sweet Sixteen after defeating Florida 81-78.