Oral Roberts' upset beyond belief _ but no miracle

Thursday, November 16th 2006, 6:38 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Even on film, Marchello Vealy's 3-point shooting show was beyond belief for Caleb Green.

It sure made for a pleasant bus trip back home after tiny Oral Roberts' biggest win in school history _ a 78-71 stunner over No. 3 Kansas.

``We watched the game going back and watching it on film is unbelievable, watching the plays and how they unfolded. And watching Marchello just continuously hit 3s. But he was continuously open, so he had to knock them down,'' Green said on Thursday.

After making only one of his first 13 career 3-pointers, Vealy knocked down the first seven he tried Wednesday to lead the Golden Eagles to their second road win ever over a ranked team.

``We've seen him make shots. We've seen him make 3s. But we've never seen him get on that much of a roll,'' said Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton, the son of former Kentucky and Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton. ``Give him credit. Once he hit his first couple, the basket had to look as big as an ocean.''

Vealy's career best had been a 12-point outing as a freshman before he pounced on the Jayhawks.

``The game comes to you,'' said Vealy, a 6-foot-7 forward. ``Coach Sutton has been telling me that, my high school coach, my middle school coach. So I was just patient. I guess it came at the right time.''

Previously, the biggest upset for Oral Roberts had been on Jan. 30, 1979, a 75-74 win at No. 9 Georgetown.

On Wednesday, the Golden Eagles became the fourth nonconference team to win at Allen Fieldhouse in the past 13 years.

Oral Roberts, the school of about 5,400 students named after its televangelist founder, didn't exactly need a miracle to win at Kansas. ORU has won the Mid-Continent Conference's regular-season title the past two seasons behind all-conference performers Ken Tutt and Green, going to the NIT in 2005 and returning to the NCAA tournament this spring for the first time in 22 years.

Green's double-double _ he had 20 points and 11 rebounds to go with eight assists and five steals _ was the 48th of his career and it was the 31st time in a row he scored in double figures.

``I've been telling everyone that would listen that he's one of the most underrated players in America,'' Sutton said. ``For whatever reason, he hasn't had the recognition he deserves. And a game like this, hopefully people will realize how good he is.''

Kansas coach Bill Self called Green, a 6-foot-8 forward who has been the Mid-Con's player of the year twice in a row, the best player on the court.

``And that's saying a lot, because Kansas has four or five guys that will be playing in the NBA one day,'' Sutton said. ``I thought Caleb really dominated the game.''

This season, ORU still has games left at No. 8 Georgetown, Arkansas and Brigham Young and a neutral-site game against Seton Hall.

Green and the rest of the Golden Eagles hope that tough schedule helps them avoid being slotted at the bottom of the NCAA tournament bracket, provided they're able to make it that far.

The win at Kansas was only the first step.

``If we lose the rest of our games, this game means nothing,'' Green said. ``We still have to go win some games to even be looked at above a 16 seed, if we're able to get there.

``It's a long season and that was just the second (game) of the season. But that was a monumental win.''