Two Christian colleges have made big March Madness advancements that they are crediting to the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of prayer.
CBN News reports that Oklahoma’s Oral Roberts University and Chicago’s Loyola University both prayed and praised their way into Sweet 16 spots in the NCAA tournament brackets.
“I’m thankful to Jesus Christ for putting us in this position,” junior Kevin Obanor said ahead of the Sunday game they’d go on to win 81 to 78 against the Florida Gators.
“We want it very bad. It’s bigger than us, just to leave a legacy behind for ORU. I’m just very eternally grateful and I just can’t wait to play tomorrow.”
This attitude paid off—his team would go on to become the second number 15 seed to advance to the sweet 16 with their major upset against the Gators.
ORAL ROBERTS IS HEADED TO THE SWEET 16 pic.twitter.com/fUw1jvGjbX
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 22, 2021
This victory came after a Friday win against #2-ranked Ohio State in which they’d beat the Buckeyes 75 to 72.
This was the Christian college’s first tournament win since 1974.
The Jesuit Loyola University, meanwhile, had a rather unique “secret weapon” as CBN described Sister Jean Delores Schmidt.
The elderly nun’s amusingly detailed pregame prayers have been credited with the team’s impressive victories, such as their most recent win against the University of Illinois’ Fighting Illini by 13 points on Sunday.
“As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win,” the 101-year-old prayed from her wheelchair. “We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds as this team makes about 50 percent of layups and 30 percent of its 3 points. Our defense can take care of that.”
Sister Jean had the Illinois scouting report ready for Loyola 😤 pic.twitter.com/OzfksLQBG5
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 21, 2021
Who said you can’t bring rebound statistics before the throne of God?
These heartfelt prayers seem to have heartened the players, as coach Porter Moser observed.
“It’s amazing what happens when you get a group of young men who believe,” he said, according to CBN.
“And these guys believed,” he added.