NCAA Tournament 2016: Stephen F. Austin stuns West Virginia in latest upset

Sporting News
Stephen F. Austin and senior hero Thomas Walkup cut down the Mountaineers. The Lumberjacks advance to face Wisconsin on Sunday.
Stephen F. Austin and senior hero Thomas Walkup cut down the Mountaineers. The Lumberjacks advance to face Wisconsin on Sunday.

Stephen F. Austin became the latest underdog to shake up the NCAA Tournament on Friday night, as the East Region's No. 14 seed shocked No. 3 West Virginia 70-56.

Stephen F. who, you ask? If you don't know anything about this university in Nacogdoches, Texas, you're sure to hear more about the Lumberjacks as they head into a matchup Sunday against No. 6 Notre Dame.

MORE: Top photos from Round of 64 | SN's interactive bracket

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

And you'll hear plenty about the Lumberjacks' 6-4 senior forward, Thomas Walkup, who sports a beard — naturally, because he's a Lumberjack — and did it all Friday against WVU. Walkup scored 33 points (hitting 19 of 20 free throws), grabbed nine boards and handed out four assists.

WE CALLED IT: Walkup among our potential Cinderella players

Clide Geffrard Jr. came off the bench to score 14 for the Lumberjacks.

The champions of the Southland Conference, the Lumberjacks (28-5) held a 31-28 lead at the half. Every time the Mountaineers (26-9) appeared set to make a charge in the second half, they shot themselves in the foot. West Virginia ended the game with 21 turnovers.

Friday's game was the 21st time a No. 14 seed beat a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

"Unbelievable," Walkup told CBS Sports afterward. "It's what I've worked for the last five years of my life … that's all my goal is (to advance)."

For a team that only began its basketball program in the mid-1980s, the Lumberjacks have carved out a niche for themselves in the Southland. This is their third straight NCAA appearance — fourth overall — and their second victory. As a 12 seed in 2014, the Lumberjacks upset fifth-seeded VCU.

Correction: The article originally listed the wrong upcoming opponent for Stephen F. Austin. SFA will play Notre Dame on Sunday.

What to Read Next