Furman pulled the first shocker of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, Thursday, stunning ACC power Virginia with a steal and a 3-pointer in the final seconds to pull off a 68-67 upset in Orlando.
The 13th-seeded Paladins (28-7) trailed by a dozen points with 11 minutes to play before going on a 19-4 run to take their first lead of the game. From there, it was a back-and-forth contest as the two clubs traded buckets until the final buzzer.
It looked as if 4th-seeded Virginia had wrestled control in the final minute as veteran guard Kihei Clark was heading to the foul line looking to extend the lead. But with 19.2 seconds left, Clark missed one of two, leaving the door open for Furman’s late-game theatrics. Furman made two foul shots on its next possession, trimming the lead to two. Moments later, the Paladins trapped Clark on the baseline, forcing an errant pass into the hands of Garrett Hien. Hien found JP Pegues on the wing, who stepped into a 3-point shot over the outstretched arms of Clark. Pegues’ shot was true, sending Furman into the second round for the first time since 1974.
Furman, winners of seven straight and 15 of its last 16, will square off with San Diego State, Saturday.