The championship round of the Southern Conference was held in Asheville, North Carolina as the ten Southern Conference teams faced off against each other for one final time within the 2022-2023 season. The tournament took place from Mar. 3-6, with teams being eliminated every day until one team was selected as the champions of the Southern Conference and secured themselves a spot for the NCAA March Madness competition.
As the number-one seed of the Southern Conference regular season, Furman automatically entered the tournament at the quarter-finals rank, playing the winner of the Mercer-Citadel qualification round. The Mercer Bears routed the Citadel Bulldogs 66-41 and, thus, kicked off Furman’s first tournament match against the Bears on Mar. 4. Despite Mercer holding a lead at the half (32-29), Furman commenced a running streak of almost 15 unanswered points and secured a 73-58 victory. The Paladins shot a 37.5% successful three-pointer rate compared to only 13% by the Mercer Bears.
On the same date, ETSU and Western Carolina battled for the right to play Furman during the semi-finals, and the result was a Western Carolina win of 69-57. The Paladins then faced off for their second match of the tournament against the Western Carolina Catamounts on Mar. 5. The story would almost completely invert during the match, as Furman led 45-30 over the Catamounts at the half yet was outscored 42-27 during the second half. The final result was a narrow 83-80 overtime win for the Paladins.
With the eliminations of Virginia Military Institute and Samford by Chattanooga alongside Wofford’s game-winning layup over UNCG, the Furman Paladins geared up to face the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for the SoCon Championship game for the second season in a row. Tensions ran high as the Chattanooga Mocs sought another shot at entering the NCAA March Madness Competition after being eliminated in the first round by Illinois 54-53, and the Furman Paladins sought to enter the March Madness tournament for the first time in 43 years.