Clemson March Madness: Tiger legends fill Sikes Hall bracket


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Christian Wilkins takes on another Dabo era star with DeAndre Hopkins.
Christian Wilkins takes on another Dabo era star with DeAndre Hopkins.

Our version of March Madness is using the extra time at home now to recognize the best competitors in Clemson athletics history.

The Sikes Hall region features key playmakers in conference and national championship runs, as well as multiple national player-of-the-year, All-American and individual champion honors.

This exercise, which is measuring their top accomplishments while a collegiate athlete, is meant to be fun and a celebration of Clemson athletes across the decades.  

We had our second region of voting going until Wednesday morning and that saw some pretty big blowouts and only a couple minor upsets by seeding.

Deshaun Watson ran up the largest margin across our voting platforms over 15-seed Jonathan Byrd (men's golf), while Sammie Henson (wrestling) over Jimmy Key (baseball) and Brian Dawkins (football) over Billy McMillon (baseball) were the two lower-seeded athletes to move on. Top seeds William Perry, Tree Rollins, Sammy Watkins, Shawn Crawford and Terrell McIntyre also moved on to the next round.

Here's the full Clemson March Madness bracket:

Click here or on the image for larger view

Debate for your favorites in the bracket and examine the profiles for your pick of this elite group of Tigers. Without further ado, vote below (Voting deadline at 10 a.m. on 3/26)!


Sikes Hall Region


Case for McFadden

Played: 1936-39

* Two-time All-American in basketball (1938-39) and Clemson’s first AP All-American for football (1939). McFadden helped lead the Tigers to the school’s only conference tournament victory (1939, SoCon) and the program’s first bowl win (Cotton Bowl, 1940). 

* AP athlete of the year for 1939 and earned three letters out of basketball, football and track from 1936-39. College Football Hall of Fame member. 

* No. 4 overall pick from the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers, which ties Clelin Ferrell, Gaines Adams and Sammy Watkins for the highest-drafted Clemson football players. Still holds the Clemson season record in punts of 50-plus yards (22) and the longest rush in school history (90 yards; tied by Travis Etienne in 2019).

Case for Renfrow

Played: 2015-18

* Burlsworth Trophy winner as college football's most outstanding player who started as a walk-on. Earned third-team All-ACC honors twice.

* Tallied 37 catches and four touchdowns in seven Playoff games, including the last-second reception to clinch the school's second national title, in 2016.

* Ended up with the most starts by a Clemson receiver (47) and consecutive games with a catch (43), ranking fifth all-time in receptions (186).

TigerNet staff vote: McFadden 100%

Case for Wilkins

Played: 2016-18

* Wilkins became Clemson’s second three-time, first-team All-American, following in Sammy Watkins’ footsteps (2011-13). Wilkins earned unanimous All-American status as a senior for only the fifth time in school history. He won the Willis Award as a junior, given to the nation’s top defensive lineman.

* Wilkins logged 2,441 snaps, including action at defensive end and tackle and also was a constant on special teams units and the Tigers’ ‘Fridge package’ -- where he caught a touchdown pass and rushed for two scores.

* A first-round pick for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins (No. 13 overall), Wilkins also won the ‘Academic Heisman’ Campbell Trophy as a senior.

Case for Hopkins

Played: 2010-12

* All-American after tallying an ACC-record 18 touchdown receptions and setting a single-season school-mark in receiving yards (1,405; now held by Sammy Watkins) in 2012.

* Tied for the career Clemson record in touchdown receptions (27) with the second-best season receiving yards per game average (108.1 in 2012), second-most 100-yard games overall (12) and second-best mark in career receiving yards (3,020). 

* Became the second player in ACC history to total 50 receptions or more as both a freshman and a sophomore. Had a reception in each of his last 36 games, tying for the school record at the time. 

TigerNet staff vote: Wilkins 80%

Case for Perry

Played: 1984-87

* Earned first-team All-American honors and captured ACC Player of the Year in 1987 after totaling 24 tackles for loss and 10 sacks as a defensive tackle, in addition to 74 total stops and three pass breakups. 

* Left Clemson as the ACC’s career leader in sacks (28) and tackles for loss (61) and still holds the TFL mark in school history. 

* Finalist for the Outland Trophy in 1987 (nation’s best interior lineman) and a first-team All-ACC member in both 1986 and 1987.

Case for Nance

Played: 1977-81

* Earned All-ACC and All-ACC Tourney honors in 1981, scoring 15.9 points and grabbing 7.6 rebounds a game that year.

* First-round NBA draft pick to the Phoenix Suns in 1981 (20th overall).

* Holds the Clemson postseason single-game scoring record of 34 points (vs. Temple in 1981). Has the fourth-most dunks in school history (55). 

TigerNet staff vote: Perry 60%

Case for Campbell

Played: 1986-90

* Honorable-mention All-America and first-team All-ACC in Clemson’s regular-season title run in 1990.

* Campbell ranked third in the ACC in scoring as a sophomore (18.8) and led in field goal percentage (62.9) and blocked shots per game (3.1). Also led the ACC in blocked shots a game in 1989 (3) and 1990 (2.8).

* Top-10 in the ACC career-wise in blocked shots (334/8th) and blocked shots per game (2.7/10th). Clemson’s all-time leader in double-figure scoring games (97), field goals (754) and dunks (160). 

Case for Adams

Played: 2004-06

* First-team All-American and ACC defensive player of the year in 2006.

* Left school tied for Clemson's all-time sack lead with Michael Dean Perry with 28, also tallying 44.5 tackles for loss and 21 pass breakups (which was the most for a Clemson defensive lineman).

* Tied for highest-drafted football Tiger at No. 4 overall (Tampa Bay Bucs) with three fellow Clemson products (Banks McFadden, Sammy Watkins and Clelin Ferrell).

TigerNet staff vote: Campbell 100%

Case for Greene

Played: 1999-2002

* Earned multiple national player of the year and All-American honors for a monster 2002 season, where his marks in doubles (33; NCAA-leading that season), home runs (27), RBIs (91), slugging percentage (.877), hits (134; NCAA-leading that season) and total bases (250; NCAA-leading that season) still lead the Clemson record books. 

* He holds the Clemson career marks in hits (403), doubles (95), extra-base hits (154), RBIs (276) and total bases (668).

* Tied for being the fourth highest-drafted Tiger with a 13th overall selection to the San Diego Padres.

Case for Glover

Played: 1997-01

* First-team All-American in 2000 and 2001 and first-team All-ACC member for three seasons (1999-2001).

* No. 2 in Clemson history in birdies (519), fourth in rounds in the 60s (29) and No. 5 in rounds at par or better percentage (58.5). 

* Holds the Clemson junior under-par best mark (-11) and third-best individual tourney score (2000-01 Jerry Pate, 201 in three rounds). 

TigerNet staff vote: Greene 100%

Case for Murray

Played: 1984-87

* Named the nation’s top men’s soccer player in 1987 (Hermann Trophy) and a two-time All-American.

* A National Soccer Hall of Famer, Murray scored the winning goal in three NCAA Tournament games for the Tigers on the way to a 1987 national championship. Murray was also a key contributor in the Tigers’ 1984 national title.  

* Accounted for a goal or an assist in 56 of his 84 games at Clemson to be the first Tiger to join the 40-40 club (48 goals; 46 assists).

Case for Kremer

Competed: 1986-89 

* NCAA Champion in the 200 and 500-meter freestyle races in 1987 and a 16-time All-American and five-time ACC champion.

* Led Clemson to three-straight ACC titles from 1987-89 with MVP honors in 1987 and 1989. Was an Olympic bronze medalist while an amateur in the 100 free relay and a qualifier for the 200 and 400 freestyle in the 1988 games. 

* Left school holding ACC records in the 100, 200, 400 and 1,000 free and a Clemson record in the 50 freestyle as well.

TigerNet staff vote: Murray 80%

Case for Krebs

Competed: 1982-86

* Three-time NCAA champion with the indoor 1,000-yard run (1983) and 1,500-meter indoor run (1983 and 1985). Four-time ACC Champion in the 800m.

* Earned six All-American honors (three indoor and three outdoor). Also placed fifth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 1984 and seventh in 1983. 

* First Clemson track athlete inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor. Held the Clemson indoor record in the mile for 21 years (4:38.30) before Grace Barnett bested it in 2017 (4:33.86) and the Clemson mark in the 800m outdoor run for 22 years (2:02.07) before Natoya Goule topped it in 2015 (1:59.63). Also won the Frank Howard award in 1986 for the best athlete in bringing honor to Clemson University.

Case for Wright

Played: 1991-94

* Two-time All-ACC forward and a honorable mention All-American in 1994 with 15.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. Also All-ACC Tourney honors in 1994.

* Highest-drafted Clemson basketball player with a No. 6 selection in 1994 to the Philadelphia 76ers.

* ACC rebounds per game leader in 1992-93 (10.5) and blocks per game leader in 1991-92 (2.3) and 1992-93 (4.1; 2nd in the NCAA) with a Clemson season-high of 124 blocks (1992-93), second-best blocks per game average in school history (3.11), third-most blocked shots in Clemson history (286) and third-most double-doubles (41).

TigerNet staff vote: Krebs 80%

Case for Adkins

Played: 1964-67

* First three-time All-American in Clemson baseball history, in the 1965-67 seasons.

* Holds the ACC’s longest hitting streak of 41 games, between the 1965-66 seasons, which was an NCAA record at the time (tied for seventh-longest now). He hit .444 without a single strikeout in 126 at-bats over the 1965 season (fourth-best average all-time). Had a .379 career average with a wooden bat.

* One of two baseball reps in the Clemson Ring of Honor with former coach Bill Wilhelm. 

Case for Allen

Played: 1987-89

* Two-time first-team All-ACC running back who led the 1987 ACC season in rushing (1,192 yards).

*  Led the ACC in rushing on two conference title teams and holds the Clemson freshman rushing record after an ACC rookie of the year campaign (973).

* 1989 Citrus Bowl MVP in a win over No. 10 Oklahoma

TigerNet staff vote: Adkins 60%

State your case for the matchups and more in the comments.  

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