The first major upset of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament took place Friday (March 19) when Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State took on Oral Roberts University. The 15th-seeded Golden Eagles took out the 2nd-seeded Buckeyes, and E.J. Liddell, a forward for the losing squad, shared some frightening messages from social media after the loss.
The Golden Eagles stunned the Buckeyes to the tune of 75-72 on the backs of its two stars, Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor, who combined for 59 points for the team based in Tulsa, Okla. The game went into overtime, with Ohio State players Justin Ahrens and Duane Washington Jr. both missing potential game-tying three-pointers towards the end of the game.
Liddell, who poured in 23 points and 14 rebounds, did all he could to lift his squad to a win but it appears some fans believe a missed free throw near the end of the game cost the Buckeyes the contest. It should be noted that Ohio State missed half of their free throws and shot just 22 percent from being the three-point-line.
Taking to Twitter, the 20-year-old Liddell openly pondered why anyone would wish him bodily harm over a basketball game, considering he’s never lashed out like this according to his account.
“Honestly, what did I do to deserve this? I’m human,” read the first of a string of tweets from Liddell, which featured a grouping of messages from an unidentified person who called Liddell names and wished for his death.
“Comments don’t get to me but I just wanna know why. I’ve never done anything to anyone in my life to be approached like this,” Liddell added.
He concluded with, “This is not me saying anything negative about Ohio State fans. I love you all dearly and I’ve felt nothing but appreciated since the first day I stepped on campus.”
Ohio State University officials say they have opened an investigation of the threats with local police and will support Liddell in this trying time.
Seriously though, a basketball game shouldn’t have a grown person ready to catch a charge because their squad lost. Hopefully, E.J. Liddell isn’t letting the words get him or his teammates down. At just 20 years of age, he’s got a lot of basketball left to play.
And so do we.