Furman Paladins capitalize on late error to pull off stunning upset March Madness against Virginia Cavaliers

(CNN) March Madness has earned a reputation for delivering incredible shocks and college hoops fans didn’t have to wait too long for the upsets at this year’s men’s tournament.

On Thursday, the fourth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers faced the 13th-seeded Furman Paladins — making their first March Madness appearance in 43 years — in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

Many expected a win for the Cavs and the Paladins trailed for most of the game and Virginia extended their lead to 12 points midway through at one point.

The Virginia Cavaliers have added their name to the list of favorites to lose in March Madness.

The Paladins struggled to get back into the competition, thanks to good defensive work to make the clutch uncomfortable for Virginia.

With Virginia up two and less than 10 seconds on the clock, the Paladins forced a mid-court flight, Garrett Hien grabbing a lazy pass and advancing.

Hein found JP Pegues, who seemed like the coolest man on the pitch as he squared his shoulders and proceeded to bury the three winners to give the Paladins a one-point lead.

With 2.4 seconds on the clock, Virginia was forced to shoot, but missed a desperate shot at the buzzer.

Cue some massive celebrations as the Paladins stormed the pitch, before the team danced and sprayed water on themselves in the locker room.

Pegues was the coolest man in the stadium as he emptied clutch three with time running out.

After the victory, Pegues gave a glimpse of how he felt before his decisive clutch shot.

“When I saw it go into the hands of Garrett Hien, I was like, I want the ball. I feel like those are moments that I’ve created my whole life, and I have the felt like it was built for,” Pegues said.

“So as soon as I got the ball and saw the shot attempt I had, I knew all I could do at that point was get up and shoot it, and I was convinced he was going to come in, and he did.”

Furman head coach Bob Richey added, “What a day to be a paladin.”

Cavs coach Tony Bennett described his team’s loss as “difficult”.

“You know, this game is – interesting might be the word I would use. You feel like, we’ve got it, we’ve got it, and then all of a sudden in an instant, it changes at the end. “

Furman will play No. 5 San Diego State on Saturday.

Leave a Comment