Greenville's team is dancing their way in to the next round of the NCAA Tournament after a climatic upset win, Thursday afternoon. The 13th seeded Furman Paladins shocked the 4th seeded Virginia Cavaliers, 68-67 in Orlando.
Furman trailed by 3 with under 30 seconds to play. They led by four when Paladin Center Garrett Hein hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to cut the lead to two. Furman then put on a full court press that led to a steal by Hein. He found JP Pegues open and Pegues drilled a deep three to give the Paladins, a 68-67 lead with two seconds left. Virginia then missed a 30 foot heave at the buzzer to give Furman their 1st NCAA Tournament win since 1974.
Furman Coach Bob Richey made an adjustment that paid dividends. Furman went from man to man to a 1-3-1 zone defense in the 2nd half. Virginia had no answer for that move and the defensive adjustment changed the momentum of the game.
SoCon Player Of The Year Jalen Slawson was a major factor for the Paladins. On three straight trips late in the 2nd half, Slawson was able to get buckets to help bring Furman back. Slawson had a double-double of 19 points and 10 boards to led the way for the Paladins.
Three other Paladins were in double figures, Marcus Foster had 14 points. JP Pegues added 11 including the game winner and Mike Bothwell scored 11 before fouling out.
Furman now moves to the 2nd round. They will take on 5 seed San Diego State, the Aztecs slipped by College Of Charleston 63-57 on Thursday. The Paladins will look to win two games in the NCAA Tournament for the 1st time in program history. Furman and San Diego State will meet Saturday for a 12:10 PM tip off. You can hear all the action on The Fan Upstate.