Clemson seeks to strengthen NCAAs bid in ACC Tourney opener


by - Correspondent -
(USA TODAY Sports-Jason Getz)
(USA TODAY Sports-Jason Getz)

Clemson's ACC Tournament opener with NC State Wednesday could amount to an NCAA Tournament elimination game, according to the current projections.

The Tigers (19-12, 9-9 ACC) and Wolfpack (21-10, 9-9) meet for a second time this season after NC State hit a buzzer-beater three-pointer to win in January. The postseason version will tip at noon in Charlotte's Spectrum Center on Wednesday and will be aired on both ESPN and also Raycom affiliates.

As of Tuesday, Clemson is among the last four in projected for the NCAA Tournament by both CBS Sports and ESPN. NC State is also among the last four projected in the field by ESPN.

Brad Brownell's Tigers have won at least one ACC Tournament game in the last two versions, reaching the ACC quarterfinals last year.

One-seed Virginia awaits the winner in the ACC quarterfinals on Thursday at noon (Raycom/ESPN or ESPN2).

NC State and Clemson each closed their regular seasons on a win to reach even in conference play, with the Wolfpack taking a 73-47 win at Boston College and Clemson coming back from a 7-point halftime deficit to down Syracuse, 67-55.

Projected starting lineups

Clemson

Pos. No. Ht. Wt. Yr. GP/GS PPG RPG APG MPG
G 2 Marcquise Reed 6-3 188 Gr. 28/27 19.4 5.6 3.0 35.1
G 4 Shelton Mitchell 6-4 200 Gr. 31/31 11.7 2.6 3.0 32.7
F 14 Elijah Thomas 6-9 245 Sr. 31/29 13.2 8.0 1.4 25.7
F 24 David Skara 6-8 213 Gr. 30/29 7.3 4.0 1.6 30.8
F 25 Aamir Simms 6-7 248 So. 31/31 8.3 4.6 1.0 27.1

NC State

Pos. No. Ht. Wt. Yr. GP/GS PPG RPG APG MPG
G 2 Torin Dorn 6-5 210 Sr. 31/30 13.7 6.9 1.3 28.2
G10 Braxton Beverly 6-0 180 So. 30/24 9.8 1.7 2.6 29.6
G 11 Markell Johnson 6-1 175 Jr. 28/25 11.5 2.5 4.3 24.8
G 13 C.J. Bryce 6-5 195 Jr. 31/30 11.7 4.5 1.8 27.0
F 33 Wyatt Walker 6-9 240 Gr. 31/30 5.0 4.4 0.9 17.9

Clemson basketball notes

• Clemson will look for its third victory in a row when it challenges NC State in the second round of the 2019 New York Life ACC Tournament.
• Clemson enters the ACC Tournament having won eight-of-its-last-12 ACC games, including four-of-its-last-five.
• This is just the seventh time in school history that Clemson enters the ACC Tournament having won eight-of-its-last 12 ACC games and just the second time in the last 29 years.
• Brad Brownell won his 168th career game at Clemson with a 67-55 win against Syracuse on the school’s Senior Day. He is currently just nine shy of tying Cliff Ellis for the most in program history (177).
• Marcquise Reed is one just two guys in the country to average at least 19.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game this season.
• Since 2016-17 and with three more rebounds, Reed could become just the ninth player to amass at least 1,400 points, 400 rebounds, 250 assists and 150 steals.
• Reed jumped into 15th on the all-time scoring list. Reed now has 1,426 points in his Clemson career. His performance against UNC pushed him over 1,900 career points (1,955). He could become the 19th active player to amass 2,000 career points in NCAA Division I.
• Elijah Thomas surpassed 600 career rebounds in his time at Clemson and became just the seventh player in program history to amass 900 points, 600 rebounds and 150 blocks. With 633 career rebounds – Thomas is tied for 19th all-time in Tiger history.
• Aamir Simms was named to the 2018-19 All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team on Friday, March 8.

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