ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Former Hillsboro standout JP Pegues made a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining, and No. 13 seed Furman completed a rally from a 12-point second-half deficit to hand fourth-seeded Virginia another first-round NCAA Tournament loss, 68-67 on Thursday.
Making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 43 years, the Paladins (28-7) advanced to the second round in the South Region, where they will play either fifth-seeded San Diego State or 12th-seeded Charleston on Saturday.
Furman earned its first tournament berth since 1980 by beating Chattanooga for the Southern Conference title, capping a season-long quest to redeem itself after losing the league’s automatic berth to the Mocs on a 35-foot buzzer-beater in last year’s Southern final.
In the aftermath of that loss, Jalen Slawson and Mike Bothwell both decided to return for their fifth seasons with the Paladins. Slawson took over the game when Bothwell fouled out with just over six minutes remaining, scoring nine consecutive points to turn a 54-48 deficit into Furman’s first lead of the game, 57-54, with 5:02 to go.
Slawson, the Southern Conference player of the year, finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Kihei Clark threw a bad pass that Garrett Hien intercepted at midcourt with 7 seconds to go, setting up Pegues’ go-ahead basket, his only 3 of the game.
Virginia (25-8) was eliminated in the first round as the higher-seeded team for the third time in its past four NCAA tournaments. Kadin Shedrick led the Cavaliers with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.