GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – As the Furman’s Men’s Basketball team prepared for the second round of the NCAA tournament, so did fans.
The energy was electric as fans gathered to cheer on the Paladins Thursday afternoon in Greenville during the first round of March Madness. It was the first the the program has made an NCAA tournament appearance in more than four decades.
“It puts Furman on a national station in a way that you never see,” said Connie Carson, Vice President for Student Life at Furman University. “It it also puts Greenville on a national stage, in a very special light.”
The Cinderella story continued for the Paladins. With big upset over the Virginia Cavaliers, the team advanced to the second round of the tournament.
“I am so excited to be a Paladin today,” one fan said.
“Oh, this is incredible! Best moment of my life,” several students shouted. “We just made history! Go ‘dins baby!”
“Oh, I was so stressed. After last year, this is probably one of the best memories I’ve had here yet,” another fan added moments after the game clock ran out.
It was a day filled with loud cheers. Fans watched, at times, on the edge of their seats.
“I am still breathing, barely,” a fan told 7NEWS during a post-game interview. “I am so proud of them.”
As the upset set in Friday for college basketball fans, some said the win was no surprise.
“I don’t want to say I am surprised. The intensity that they put forth and the hardship and dedication they put into the games and who they play, I’m not surprised that they won last night,” said Evan Gilger.
In downtown Greenville, Yee-Haw Brewing Co. cleaned up and prepared for another busy weekend of college basketball.
“We have a lot of watch parties,” explained Scott Sasser, manager at Yee-Haw Brewing Co. “It’s really fun when you have a place like Furman or Clemson or people that are really close. We get a lot of students coming out.”
Paladin fans said they will return to Yee-Haw on Saturday. It’s the site of a Furman watch party.
“We’re expecting a big crowd again for Furman; a ton of students and just general fans as well,” said Sasser.
Furman will face No. 5 seed San Diego State in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday at 12:10 p.m. You can watch it live on 7NEWS. We will have complete coverage after the game during our evening broadcast.