Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Madness Begins: No. 13 Furman Upsets No. 4 Virginia in Dramatic First Round Fashion

We already had expectations of a wide open NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in 2023. After all, the preseason No. 1 North Carolina didn't even make it to the tournament after reaching the final last year. Even after the season had played out and all the conference tournaments were in the books, there wasn't really a consensus favorite (certainly not like there is on the Women's side, where South Carolina is considered a heavy favorite to win the title). And yet, here we are - mere hours into the March Madness, and we've seen our first low-seed victory, as Furman upsets Virginia in the first round.

Paladins Work Their Magic Against Virginia

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Folks have a lot of different methods of filling out their brackets when the time comes. Lots of casual fans tend to rely on the seeding, while others who may not even follow the game at all will look to everything from mascot to school colors as a reason to choose a victor. Nailing the early round "upsets" can go a long way toward helping someone win their office pool. Many of the pundits who pay close attention to the men's college basketball scene honed in on the matchup between the No. 4 seed Virginia Cavaliers and the 13-seed Furman Paladins. Both schools had very strong seasons, but a deeper dive reveals some of the reasons why.

JP Pegues #1 of the Furman Paladins shoots the game winning three point basket against the Virginia Cavaliers during the second half in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Against the ACC, the Paladins have gone 1-13 against their last fourteen matchups. Additionally, they didn't face a ranked opponent throughout the entire season. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, have defeated each of their last five Southern Conference opponents. Virginia entered the tournament on the back of a tough loss to a resurgent Duke Blue Devils team in the ACC Tournament back on Saturday. The Paladins were riding a six-game win streak entering play today. All of the ingredients were in place for drama in the South Bracket, and that's exactly what we got.

If this is how things kicked off on day one, imagine what the next few weeks have in store!

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