With the Furman Paladins facing off against the University of Virginia Cavaliers, hundreds gathered to watch the first round of March Madness at the Trone Center. As some students jump to conclusions in the final seconds of the game, they decide they would rather spare themselves the pain of watching Furman lose within a few seconds and slowly head back to their dorms. With nine seconds left in the game and UVA holding possession of the ball while leading 67-65, some Furman students can be heard already congratulating the Furman Paladins for making it this far in the March Madness Competition. 

Virginia player Kihei Clark takes possession of the ball, and with multiple Furman players crowding him, he lobs the ball as far as he can down the court... right into the hands of Garret Hien. Before the Cavaliers have time to react, he passes it to JP Pegues who then shoots for a game-winning three-pointer. The shot is good. The Furman Paladins now lead 68-67 with 2.4 seconds remaining. 

The Cavaliers attempt a last-minute half-court buzzer-beater shot, but the ball bounces off the rim, and the Paladins roar to life in celebration. Mike Bothwell can be seen emotional as he embraces assistance coaches. Ben Vanderwal raises his fists in triumph. 

With a stunning and historic upset that will echo through Furman sports history through the ages, the Furman Paladins advance alongside 31 other teams to Round 2 of March Madness. Furman will face off against the San Diego State Aztecs on Mar. 18 after the Aztecs defeated the College of Charleston Cougars 63-57. 

Throughout the game against UVA, Furman demonstrated one key advantage: three-pointers. Furman successfully shot 34.7% of their three-pointer shots compared to 16.7% by the Cavaliers. Notable weaknesses worth addressing, however, include turnovers, fouls (Star player Mike Bothwell would be fouled out of the game during the second half with his accumulation of five fouls), and defense. But despite all the disbelief in Furman’s capabilities and being behind on points throughout roughly 85% of the entire game, Furman shocked the nation by fighting when it really counted and persisting to victory until the very end.