Clemson ranked in NCAA Selection Committee top-10


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(USA Today Sports-Joshua S. Kelly)
(USA Today Sports-Joshua S. Kelly)

The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee confirmed just how impressive No. 15 Clemson’s run has been with its release of the top-16 seeds Sunday afternoon.

The committee ranked the Tigers (20-4, 9-3 ACC) as the ninth-best team in the nation, which translates to a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament's Midwest region currently.

"It would be great in three weeks if we were a three-seed and we really wouldn't mind where we went," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said on a CBS rankings reveal show Sunday. "I'm really proud of the way our guys have played this year. We've gotten off to a great start and we certainly have a little work to finish."

The NCAA started its one sneak peek at the top-16 seeds last season and only two teams in that initial top-16 finished seeded more than one line lower in the March tournament (Baylor, 1-seed to 3-seed; Virginia, 3-seed to 5-seed).

Clemson is in contention for the highest NCAA Tournament seeding in school history, looking to top a previous high of a 4-seed.

In Thursday’s ESPN update, Clemson was projected as a 3-seed in the East Region, but forecasting ahead, ESPN's Joe Lunardi said Sunday that he expects Clemson to drop to a 6-seed by March.

“Although they have won four in a row without him, the Donte Grantham injury has to catch up to the Tigers eventually,” Lunardi writes.

CBS Sports’ Sunday bracket projection kept Clemson as a 2-seed in the East Region, finding a home in the Charlotte pod to start the tourney. The overall Bracket Matrix average has the Tigers as a 2-seed.

Brownell’s group is one of two teams nationally undefeated at home (13-0; Texas Tech is 15-0). They hold the current longest winning streak in ACC action (four games).

Brownell was asked about the consistency of his team on the CBS broadcast Sunday.

"Our success this year and consistency is that we have three guards on the perimeter in Marcquise Reed, Gabe DeVoe and Shelton Mitchell, who are experienced players and are really playing at a high level," Brownell said.

Clemson gets a crack at two of the top teams in the ACC coming up, with a trip to Florida State (KenPom rating: 25) Wednesday (7 p.m.) and hosting projected 2-seed Duke next Sunday (1 p.m.).

NCAA Selection Committee Top-16 (Region)
1. Virginia (South - Atlanta regional final)
2. Villanova (East - Boston)
3. Xavier (Midwest - Omaha)
4. Purdue (West - Los Angeles)
5. Auburn (Midwest)
6. Kansas (West)
7. Duke (East)
8. Cincinnati (South)
9. Clemson (Midwest)
10. Texas Tech (East)
11. Michigan State (South)
12. North Carolina (West)
13. Tennessee (South)
14. Ohio State (East)
15. Arizona (West)
16. Oklahoma (Midwest)

Clemson NCAA Tournament profile

Record: 20-4 (9-3 ACC)
RPI: 4
Metrics average*: 12.2
Strength of Schedule: 20
Record v. RPI Group 1**: 4-4
Average RPI of Wins: 115
Average RPI of Losses: 29
Bad losses (150+ RPI): None
Record v. current KenPom top-50: 6-2
Top-25 ranked wins (at the time): No. 22 Florida (71-69 at neutral site), No. 18 Miami (72-63), No. 19 UNC (82-78).
Road/neutral record: 7-4
Last 10: 7-3
* NCAA Tournament Selection Committee average of result-based metrics RPI, KPI, and ESPN Strength of record plus predictive-based metrics of ESPN BPI, KenPom and Sagarin.
**Home 1-30 RPI rank, neutral site 1-50 rank, away 1-75.

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