Furman University emerges as the must-watch underdog amid the madness
March is a frenetic month for thousands of collegiate teams trying to make their mark in NCAA history.
For fans of South Carolina’s Furman University, Thursday’s tip-off game against No. 4 seed University of Virginia was the first time they’ve seen their men’s team dance in the biggest postseason tournament of the year in more than four decades. saw
“It’s been unbelievable. I mean, just look at how many people have been waiting for this moment since 1980,” head coach Bob Ritchie told CBS News.
For fifth-year senior and Furman forward Jalen Slauson, his time at South Carolina will certainly be one to remember.
“I’m sure in 30 years it’ll be something I can look back on and say I did this, you know, forever.” said Slauson, the Southern Conference player of the year.
The Paladins took to the big stage in Orlando and were in for a fight during their first-round game, which turned out to be a nail-biter for the ages. Facing a 12-point deficit in the second half, hope was fading for the young team. But with time running out, sophomore guard and starter JP Peggs made a catch-and-shoot three-pointer from the wing with 2.3 seconds on the clock. The Cavaliers took the ball out but had no time to respond and the game was over.
Thus the underdog coach with a much younger team found a way to survive and advance. They are now likely to become the Cinderella story of the tournament.
“What an incredible college basketball game,” Ritchie told CBS News after his team’s win. “All year long, we’ve been saying this team just knows how to win. This is an incredible moment, and all the glory to God for allowing me to lead it, but this is the day, in The players found a way.”
Paladins must now face the no. 5 seed San Diego State defeated 12th seed College of Charleston 63-57 on Thursday.
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