Furman shocks fans with upset victory over UVA


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NCAA Western Basketball Conference stadium before an upcoming divisional round matchup.

By Sebastian Valencia, Writer

No. 13 seed Furman knocked out No. 4 Virginia in March with a stunning game-winning shot in the last seconds which put them ahead 68-67 in the NCAA first round tournament in Orlando, Florida.

“I was absolutely shocked when I saw that Furman managed to defeat UVA,” said Aidin Hoffman, a student at RCMS.

After a questionable decision by guard Kihei Clark to throw the ball down the court, point guard Garrat Hein intercepted the ball. Guard JP Pegus let out a 3 point jumper shot in the last final seconds to close up the victory against the Virginia Cavaliers.

With the Furman Paladins advancing to the next round Tony Bennet and his Cavaliers will be sent home. When it comes to close game scenarios against weaker teams the Virginia Cavaliers seem to have been struggling. With similar results last year, Virginia lost to No. 13 seed Ohio 62-58 in the first round. 

“I’m disappointed, it’s a game that UVA should have won but I’m honestly not surprised that they lost,” said Gordon Stokes, principal at RCMS middle school. “UVA recently has had a history of not playing our best against weaker teams.”

Bodh Agrawal, another student at RCMS, was left shocked that UVA was eliminated from the tournament in such an early round.

 “They should have at least made it to the elite 8,” he said. “I think they had the weapons to make it that far since they were a very diverse basketball team.”

Aidin was left worried about the future of this team after seeing the tournament results over the past 2 years.

“I hope that next year they can improve their chemistry and defense,” he said. “If they fail to do that we will be in deep trouble since we are gonna be losing some key players next season.” 

 Mr. Stokes agreed.

“I’m also a little worried about next season,” he said. “We’ve lost key players, my hope is that we continue to be competitive in the ACC, and keep on getting into the tournament.”

Now the drastic change of performance from the regular season to the tournament left Aidin wondering what went wrong.

“The game wasn’t in UVA’s favor,” he said. “The momentum collapsed on the team and Furman took advantage of that, with some key mistakes between the defense and the offense Furman was able to make some clutch plays which put them as serious contenders to take home the win.”

Now this may be a catastrophic loss for UVA, but for Furman fans it gives them hope about upcoming matches and being able to compete with powerhouse teams. Furman will be moving on to the next round and facing another strong team No. 5 San Diego St.  Furman would need to keep up the momentum from this huge win to continue their title goals.

Now for UVA Fans, as Bodh states, “I hope UVA comes back stronger and moves on into later rounds to win more games. We can not afford to keep on taking these L’s on weaker teams.”