March Madness upset tracker: How far can Furman, Princeton go?

Who’s that busting brackets? We’re monitoring each upset from a 13-, 14-, 15- or 16-seed and asking: Who can go on a Cinderella run? Here are the outcomes thus far. 

Princeton 59, Arizona 55

Minutes after pulling off what may develop into the largest shock of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson gathered his gamers in the midst of the locker room.

He was drenched in a combination of sweat, water and sports activities drink, and the phrases this time simply tumbled out from a normally eloquent man. It was a message of delight, a direct order to benefit from the subsequent 48 hours and slightly sprint of disbelief at how they’d outplayed No. 2 Arizona, the Pac 12 Tournament champs, down the stretch, to document a memorable 59-55 victory.

When he ultimately stopped speaking, a number of of his Tigers gamers took up a refrain. 

“We’re not done yet,” they yelled collectively.

Who is aware of, they is likely to be proper. Princeton will stick round in Sacramento to conflict with No. 7 Missouri on Saturday, maybe emboldened by the truth that the 15-seed is on a historic tear over the past a number of tournaments.

Once seen as a digital formality, that may not be stated for a 2 vs. 15 matchup. Last season noticed Saint Peter’s climb all the way in which to the Elite Eight. A yr earlier than that, Oral Roberts downed Ohio State and Florida earlier than dropping narrowly within the Sweet 16.

From 2001 to 2012, there wasn’t a single victory for a 15-seed. In the 11 years since, there have been seven. Princeton’s was as spectacular as any. 

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Arizona had led by as many as 12 on Thursday, however Princeton, led by 15 factors from Tosan Evbuomwan, by no means went away. Down the stretch, Arizona was pressured into repeated turnovers. Azuolas Tubelis’ 22-point haul was not sufficient, and when the Tigers took the lead for the primary time with two minutes left, the tide had firmly turned.

Caden Pierce knocked down a pair of free throws with 21.7 seconds to go, and Evbuomwan fittingly iced the sport by bouncing one in with three seconds left.

It is not only a cliché to say that the Ivy Leaguers used their smarts to say the win. In truth, it’s that intrinsic sport plan that can give them an opportunity to progress additional within the bracket. Henderson’s plotting successfully slowed down Arizona’s offense and Princeton saved on gaining momentum, with torrid protection, swift transition and a swath of massive blocks.

The Tigers might want to preserve that very same defensive depth of their second-round matchup in opposition to a Missouri crew that averages 79.5 factors per contest, which ranked second within the SEC.

As for Arizona, the Wildcats now carry the doubtful distinction of changing into the primary program to lose twice within the opening spherical as a No. 2 seed. The first time nonetheless holds a spot in historical past, when a baby-faced Steve Nash shouldered Santa Clara to an epic upset again in 1993.

This was one other one, however perhaps it’s not the top. Princeton, like its gamers stated so loudly, are hungry for extra.

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Furman 68, Virginia 67

Looking for this yr’s early candidate for a Cinderella able to go on a dream run?

Well, Furman was the primary crew to boost its hand on Thursday, with the NCAA Tournament’s first alternative for a significant upset delivering simply that.

The Thirteenth-seeded Paladins sunk Virginia, the South Region’s No. 4 seed, which is aware of all about being on the improper finish of painful shocks, thanks an unbelievable flip of occasions over the ultimate seconds in Orlando.

Bob Richey’s Furman crew will now tackle the winner of the conflict between No. 5 San Diego State and No. 12 College of Charleston. The Aztecs are elite defensively, however not nice within the scoring column, whereas College of Charleston is a well-liked Cinderella decide, tied for the nationwide lead in wins with 31.

Both San Diego State and College of Charleston are skilled teams, and each are using scorching streaks. The Aztecs have gained 10 of their final 11 video games, whereas the Cougars are using a 10-game profitable streak heading into the Big Dance.

Whatever comes after this, Furman will always remember what befell throughout just a few moments of true March-style insanity.

Deep into the ultimate minute, Virginia appeared to have issues underneath management, working with a 67-63 lead, having taken defensive management down the stretch. But Kihei Clark missed a free throw, Furman massive man Garrett Hien (a 51% FT shooter) made two from the stripe, after which all of it turned to chaos.

Furman put strain on Virginia following the ensuing inbounds cross, and Clark opted to hurl the ball down the court docket unsighted. It landed in Hien’s fingers and was swiftly delivered to the unguarded JP Pegues, who drained a triple to place his crew up 68-67 with 2.2 seconds remaining.

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Reece Beekman‘s desperate last effort was wayward for Virginia, and that was it.

This is SoCon Tournament champ Furman’s first journey to the NCAA Tournament since 1980 and this system’s first match win since 1974. Thursday’s triumph got here regardless of being with out star guard Mike Bothwell within the ultimate minutes after having fouled out. 

Tony Bennett’s Virginia crew had reached the ACC Tournament title sport final weekend, and led by as many as 12 on Thursday, earlier than a comeback spurred by Furman’s Jalen Slawson, who ended with 19 factors.

This wasn’t on the identical scale as when Bennett’s group was a No. 1 seed and misplaced to Sixteenth-seeded UMBC – on the very same day 5 years in the past – but it surely was an upset few noticed coming.

Most importantly, it served rapid discover. Cinderella, as soon as once more, is coming to play.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the creator of the FOX Sports Insider publication. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the each day publication.

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