Furman brought its dancing shoes to the NCAA Tournament and Jalen Slawson wrote a prescient message on his pair.
On Thursday, No. 13 Furman had the first upset of the tournament over No. 4 Virginia 68-67, and Slawson seemed to predict the outcome with his shoes, as he wrote an inspirational message on the right heel.
“You ain’t come this far to only come this far,” the message read that likely ignited a spark in the Paladins to upstage the Cavaliers in a game that ended in a poor pass and a late 3-pointer in Furman’s favor.
With Virginia up by two and a timeout to spare, Virginia’s Kihei Clark inbounded the ball with seven seconds to go, lobbing it to two teammates down the court only to land in the hands of Garrett Hien for a steal.
Hien tossed it to his teammate JP Pegues, who drilled a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to spare, putting Furman up by one point.
The Cavaliers failed to answer in a 3-point attempt, costing them the game.
Slawson was caught in a viral moment in the tunnel after the game, saying in disbelief, “He just freaking threw the ball!”
The fifth-year 6-foot-7 forward, like many, remained in shock in the aftermath of the game.
Slawson finished the game with 19 points, going 6-for-10 from the field, along with 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
He has averaged a career-high 15.8 points this season.
Furman continues its hot streak, winning seven consecutive games, and given Slawson’s message, the Paladins are not ready to let off the gas.
The Paladins are set to face San Diego State, which knocked out Charleston 63-57, in the round of 32 on Saturday at 12:10 p.m. EST and Slawson is expected to continue sporting the inspirational message in the next matchup.