Furman Pulls Off Stunning Upset Over Virginia in 2023 NCAA Tournament
On March 16, 2023, Furman stunned Virginia in the first upset of the opening round of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, with a 68-67 win at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The Paladins, led by sophomore guard JP Pegues, had trailed by 12 points in the second half. But a furious rally, sparked by forward Jalen Slawson’s personal 8-0 run, had given Furman its first lead at 57-54 with 5:02 to go. After Virginia’s Reece Beekman missed a shot with seven seconds left, Furman was able to cut their deficit to two points with Garrett Hien’s two free throws.
The Paladins then successfully trapped Virginia senior guard Kihei Clark in the backcourt, and rather than call a timeout, he threw a wild heave toward midcourt, which was intercepted by Furman’s Garrett Hien. He fed the ball to Pegues on the right wing, who drained a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left to put the Paladins in front. Following a timeout, Virginia got the ball in the hands of Beekman but his last-second heave from long range missed off the back iron as time expired.
Furman’s win over Virginia was its first tournament win since 1974, when the tournament only had 25 teams. The Paladins’ win was even more impressive, considering the Cavaliers had not won an NCAA Tournament game since the 2019 title run, having lost twice in the first round since then. The Paladins have now doubled their NCAA Tournament win total, and have earned their first victory since 1974 over South Carolina, while Virginia’s season ended with another early exit in the NCAA tournament.
0. “Furman Stuns Virginia In First Upset Of Men’s NCAA Tournament” NESN, 16 Mar. 2023, https://nesn.com/bets/2023/03/furman-stuns-virginia-in-first-upset-of-mens-ncaa-tournament
1. “Virginia upset by Furman in NCAA tournament” The Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2023/03/16/furman-virginia-upset/
2. “Furman beats Virginia in first round of NCAA tournament” WYFF4 Greenville, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.wyff4.com/article/furman-beats-virginia-ncaa-tournament/43339977
3. “Furman game-winning shot upsets Virginia in March Madness stunner” Greenville News, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/sports/college/furman/2023/03/16/furman-march-madness-upset-shot-reaction-virginia-ncaa-tournament-2023/70017344007/
4. “Where is Furman? Paladins busted March Madness brackets with upset” USA TODAY, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2023/03/16/furman-paladins-ncaa-tournament-what-to-know/11485939002