Topic: Can the Tigers win? Yes. A great read
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Can the Tigers win? Yes. A great read

Posted: Mar 20, 2018 2:56 PM

Even if it is from Duke basketball report.
They leave out the advantage they get from refs; somewhat of a concern for them as games get closer.


No matter what happens, the ACC will have at least one team in the Elite Eight as Duke and Syracuse will play.

Florida State has to get past Gonzaga which won’t be easy and Clemson gets Kansas and that one could be very interesting.

Clemson did one pretty impressive thing when they overcame the loss of Donte Grantham. Grantham blew his knee out against Notre Dame on January 20th. Immediately after that Clemson got humiliated by Virginia 61-36.

After that though the Tigers ripped off four straight including a win over UNC. Post-Grantham, Clemson is 7-6. Of those losses, one came at Florida State in overtime, one came to Duke by nine but which was closer than that, one was at Virginia Tech by seven, one was at Syracuse by three and the last was to UVA in the ACC Tournament by six.

We would remind you that Clemson was without Shelton Mitchell in the games against Duke and Virginia Tech and was in both of those games.

The Tigers then took out New Mexico State in the first round of the NCAA tournament 79-68. Then came Auburn.

If you didn't see that game it’s hard to explain how good Clemson was. This was a razor sharp team. The announcer at one point was just counting consecutive misses by Auburn. We remember him getting up to 19.

It’s not that Auburn is pathetic. Far from it. It’s that Clemson’s defense was that good. And once the defense got rolling, the offense was magnified.

It seemed like every shot went down and Clemson passed like a dream.

ACC fans are used to certain comfortable facts about Clemson basketball: they’re going to get theirs periodically, but Clemson is not a smart team. Their guys may be athletic but other teams have better athletes and certainly better basketball players. Clemson might be dangerous but mostly at home.

Toss it all out.

This team is very dangerous and we don’t know if Kansas understands what they’re up against.

So that leads to the obvious question: can Clemson pull off what would be seen as a massive upset?

Beating the Jayhawks would an upset but not as big an upset as a lot people would think.

First, Clemson is peaking at the right time. And second, Kansas may be vulnerable.

It’s not a deep team and the frontcourt in particular doesn’t have a lot of depth. Udoka Azubuike, who had a knee strain recently, is huge - 7-0 and 280 - and he’ll be a tough matchup for Clemson.

Kansas relies on transition which could be tricky against Clemson and their defense isn’t as stout as what Brad Brownell gets from his guys. And it’s worth remembering that this particular Kansas team, unlike most Bill Self teams, doesn’t rebound particularly well.

This is a good place to remind you of one of our pet theories and why it may not apply here.

Clemson was stunning against Auburn. We picked them to win but we never, ever expected them to have a 40 point lead against a very solid opponent.

We’ve said previously that when a team has a great game people tend to expect another one and that it’s highly unlikely. Like a lot of laymen, we tend to see a great offensive performance as a great game. In this case, it was more defense. Clemson’s defense fed the offense and made it look better than it was (and it was pretty good).

Clemson hit 47.5% overall and 38.5% from deep, going 10-26 on threes.

So it’s not like Clemson shot 70% from three point range or anything. They just denied Auburn consistently.

That win is down to hard work and communication and that they can do again, if not at the same level.

They will have to stay out of foul trouble and especially Elijah Thomas because Azubuike is a load. And obviously Devonte Graham has to be controlled.

But it’s doable. And the fact that it’s Clemson instead of Duke, UNC, Virginia or Notre Dame works to their advantage too because no one expects a Clemson team to be this good.

Go ask Auburn about that.

Sports data © STATS 2016

they = Duke, in reference to refs...***

Posted: Mar 20, 2018 2:58 PM

they = Duke, in reference to refs...***

Posted: Mar 20, 2018 3:19 PM

Replies: 2  
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