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Dance Card: Oral Roberts, Southland champions

All eyes are on Kevi Luper- but should they be?


Who? The Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts University.

What? They were Titans before, thanks to a lot of football fans. Eli hatched from a papier-mache egg.

Where? Tulsa, Oklahoma, once Oil Capital of the World.

When? March 16th, in Katy, Texas.

Why? They won the Southland conference tournament.

How? Kevi Luper had 26 points, and the Golden Eagles turned it on in the last five minutes to beat Sam Houston 72-66.

Surprise? Predicted to finish fourth in the conference by the coaches and third by the SIDs, they tied for first with Sam Houston State.

RPI: 100

SOS: 131

Record: 18-12 (13-5 Southland)

Good wins: Tulsa.

Bad losses: At Northwestern State.

Who's running this show? Misti Cussen, since 2012. She was a longtime assistant there before getting the head job.

Extra, Extra! The Tulsa World.

The Golden Eagles are paced by a pair of high-flying senior guards, Kevi Luper (18.8 points, 2.8 steals per game) and Jaci Bigham (12.4 points, 7+ assists per game). Adjustment to the Southland has taken a slight toll on the former Summit League power, as has adapting to a new coach. Luper and Bigham are both high-usage players, and they're both going to need to be on their game for ORU to be competitive. Freshman forward Taylor Cooper seems to be the heir to the throne, adding 10.2 points per game.