ORU & Arkansas Connections Run Deeper Than Basketball

Thursday, March 25th 2021, 9:46 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

This weekend, Oral Roberts University takes on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Basketball tournament.

With the Hogs only being about 112 miles away, there are some connections between the two schools. 

For R-U Deputy Athletic Director Tim Johnson, this weekend's Sweet 16 matchup is the past meeting the present. 

"I think I've gotten probably 300 to 400 text messages just from people I know in Arkansas who are so excited to see ORU playing Arkansas," Johnson said. 

Johnson graduated from the University of Arkansas as well as worked in the athletic department. He said it's special to see the Golden Eagles competing against the Hogs for the entire country to see.

"Well, I think it's really exciting. I think it kind of validates what we're doing here, we're so excited with our program and the blood sweat and tears we've put into it," he said. 

Johnson isn't the only connection between the two schools. The assistant coach for the women's basketball team Lee Mayberry played for the Hogs in the 90s.  Johnson said the two are ready to see ORU take on their Alma Mater. 

"I talked to him about this game a couple of days ago, and I can guarantee you every Razorback blood we have in our body is cheering for the gold and blue," he said. 

Johnson said it's been amazing to see the Golden Eagles’ run in the tournament so far, and while he's proud of his past as a Razorback, he's rooting for ORU. 

"I can tell you there is no house divided for us, it is all ORU, all the time," Johnson said. 

The game will be played Saturday night in Indianapolis and the winner will head to the Elite 8.