Furman shocks Virginia with late 3-pointer in NCAA’s first major upset

This isn’t UMBC in 2018, but it still stings for Virginia.

On the fifth anniversary of Virginia becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in NCAA tournament history, the fourth-seeded Cavaliers were measuring another opponent for a glass slipper after suffering the first big upset of the 2023 version of March Madness.

JP Pegues hit a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to complete No. 13 seed Furman’s rally from 12 points down in the second half to shock Virginia, 68-67, Thursday in Orlando, Fla.

The Paladins (28-7), making their first NCAA appearance in 43 years, advance to the second round where will face the winner of Thursday’s first-round matchup between fifth-seeded San Diego State and 12th-seeded College of Charleston on Saturday.

“All year we’ve been saying that this team just knows how to win. ... It’s an unbelievable moment,” said Furman coach Bob Richey, whose team fell short of an NCAA bid last season when Chattanooga hit a 35-footer at the buzzer to beat the Paladins in the Southern Conference championship game.

The Cavaliers (25-8) will wonder how the last 19 seconds played out on Thursday and if they can bounce back from this upset as they did following the 2018 stunner against UMBC. Virginia won the 2019 national championship.

Kihei Clark, who played on the 2019 champions, hit a free throw with 19 seconds left to give Virginia a 67-63 lead. Furman’s Garrett Hien made two free throws with 12 seconds left to pull the Paladins to within 67-65.

The Paladins then double-teamed Clark and pressured him into a long pass stolen just past midcourt by Hien, who quickly passed to Pegues on the right side and buried the winner.

“As soon as I saw it go into Garrett Hien’s hands, I was like, I want the ball. I feel like those are moments I’ve created my whole life, and I feel like I’m built for,” Pegues said. “I had full belief that it was going in, and it did.”

Jalen Slawson, who sparked the second-half comeback, led Furman with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. Marcus Foster added

“This game is - interesting might be the word I’d use,” said Virginia coach Tony Bennett, whose team lost its opener as a No. 4 seed two years earlier to Ohio. “You feel like, we got it, we got it, and then all of a sudden in a moment’s notice, it changes at the end. That’s tough.”

Kadin Shedrick led Virginia with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks.