The 2023 March Madness tournament has its first big upset.
No. 13 Furman went on a crazy run late to upset No. 4 Virginia, 68-67.
Virginia led 50-38 with just under 11 minutes to go, their largest lead of the game, but the Paladins went on a 19-4 run to take a three-point lead – their first of the game – with 5:02 to go, and it was a battle from then on.
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Furman’s lead never grew past three, as both teams continued to exchange buckets for the next several minutes, and Virginia actually led by two with 12.3 seconds to go.
But a wild, errant Cavalier pass was intercepted by Furman’s Garrett Hien, and he dished it to JP Pegues for a wide-open three to give the Paladins a 68-67 lead with 2.4 seconds left. Virginia missed a three at the buzzer, resulting in their first-round exit.
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“I knew when we got the stop, my teammates would be looking for shooters…Specifically, he looks for me all the time,” Pegues said to CBS after the game. “My teammates believe me, they trust me, I love them back, and I have full confidence.
“I missed all night… but winners make big shots, and I call myself a winner.”
“I want to be in those moments. I was born for those moments,” he added.
It’s Virginia’s time being the victims of a major upset – in 2018, they became the first – and still only – No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed, when UMBC blew them out, 74-54, where the Cavaliers were outscored 53-33 in the second half – they won the national title the following season.
Furman earned their bid to the tournament by winning the Southern Conference.
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The 13-seeded Paladins now await the winner of No. 5 San Diego State and No. 12 Charleston for a chance at a trip to the Sweet 16.