Paladins break UVA’s heart; playing Sasser will haunt Houston

And now, finally, an answer to one of the biggest questions as the men’s NCAA Tournament started on Thursday: What the heck is a Paladin?

Turns out, it’s a heartbreaker. Specifically, it’s a heartbreaker to the Virginia Cavaliers.

In all seriousness, a Paladin is a knight, often renowned for honor and heroism.

Maybe they should also get credit for good defense.

The 13th-seeded Paladins of Furman stole the show on Day 1, topping No. 4 seed Virginia 68-67 in a wild finish that gave us our first major upset of the day. A couple of hours later, No. 15 seed Princeton joined the party, knocking off No. 2 seed Arizona.

This is what we want on the first day of Madness: Brackets breaking all over the country and double-digit seeds shocking everyone (except themselves, at least if you’re Princeton).

MEN’S TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: Complete 2023 NCAA men’s tournament schedule, results and times

But other top seeds looked dominant — which is what they’re supposed to look like, especially in their first-round games. All of it is coming together to provide an intriguing second round. But first, we’ve got one more whole day of first-round games, which may provide even more chaos.

For now, here are the winners and losers from Day 1.

Furman Paladins guard Marcus Foster celebrates after defeating the Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday.



There’s nothing like an upset — or two!

First, in the Virginia-Furman game, the Paladins’ suffocating, trapping defense made Virginia senior Kihei Clark panic, and he heaved a dangerous, cross-court pass as the game’s final seconds wound down. That pass was intercepted by Furman’s Garrett Hien, who kicked it to JP Pegues, who’d missed his three previous attempts from long distance. Pegues calmly buried the 3 to go up 68-67. After a timeout, Virginia’s game-winning attempt was off.

Then, in Arizona-Princeton, the Wildcats went ice cold from the field in the final 4:43 (0-for-7) as Princeton pulled off an improbable 59-55…

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Author : USA TODAY Sports

Publish date : 2023-03-17 05:35:46

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Paladins break UVA’s heart; playing Sasser will haunt Houston  
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