Clemson, SC - The men's basketball schedule for the 2008-09 season was announced Tuesday by Head Coach Oliver Purnell and the Atlantic Coast Conference. Clemson will play 10 nationally-televised games this season, including nine conference games, most since the 1997-98 season. The Tigers are coming off a 2007-08 season in which they won 24 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
"Our schedule is every bit as challenging as any we've played since I've been at Clemson," Purnell said. "The TV portion of the schedule is great because it gives us more of an opportunity to showcase our program on a national level. The interest of the national television partners in our program indicates we are getting better and better."
The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a season-opening tournament and road games at Charlotte, Illinois, and South Carolina. The Tigers will begin the season November 14-16 in an inaugural eight-team tournament in Charleston, SC. The tournament pairings for the Charleston Classic will be announced Wednesday. Other teams participating in the tournament are College of Charleston (host), East Tennessee State, Hofstra, SIU-Edwardsville, Temple, Texas Christian, and Western Michigan. Selected games of the tournament will be broadcast by ESPN Regional Television, a subsidiary of ESPN.
Clemson's first scheduled road game will come November 22 at Charlotte, who defeated the Tigers last season in Littlejohn Coliseum by a score of 82-72. It will be Clemson's first game at Charlotte since 1989-90, when the tandem of Elden Campbell and Dale Davis led the Tigers to a 104-79 victory.
The Tigers will square off with the Fighting Illini in the 10th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge at 7:30 PM on December 2. Clemson has a 7-2 record in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Only Duke (9-0) and Wake Forest (7-1) have a better record than Clemson in the history of the event. The Tigers have won four straight in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including a 61-58 victory at home in 2007 over eventual NCAA Tournament participant Purdue. Clemson is 3-2 on the road in the event, having won its last two away challenge games at Penn State and Minnesota in back-to-back years (2005, 2006).
Clemson's first ACC game will actually be in December this season, prior to the conclusion of the non-conference schedule. The Tigers will play at Miami (FL), a team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago, on December 21 in the first Sunday Night Hoops game on Fox Sports Net. Clemson follows that game with a December 30 matchup at South Carolina. The Tigers have won four straight in the series and two in a row in Columbia.
The final non-conference home games of the season will be January 3 versus East Carolina and January 6 against Alabama. The Tigers defeated both teams by double digits on the road last season. The Alabama game will be televised at 9:00 PM by Fox Sports Net South.
Following the conclusion of the non-conference slate, Clemson will play back-to-back ACC home games against NC State and Wake Forest. The January 17 game against the Demon Deacons will be televised by ABC at 3:30 PM, and will be the first of five straight shown on national television for Clemson. Clemson will face probable preseason #1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on January 21 at 9:00 PM in a game shown by ESPN.
Georgia Tech comes to Littlejohn Coliseum for a Sunday Night Hoops showdown on January 25. The two teams split the season series last year. Clemson follows by traveling to Blacksburg, VA on January 29 for an ESPN or ESPN2 game against Virginia Tech. The Tigers have won two straight contests in Blacksburg. The Tigers' string of nationally-televised games wraps up February 4 in a 9:00 PM, ESPN game against the Duke Blue Devils. Clemson downed Duke last season to advance to the ACC Tournament championship game, but have not beaten the Blue Devils at home since 1997.
Other national broadcasts for the Tigers during ACC play are home games versus Maryland (February 17) and Virginia Tech (February 25), and the regular season finale at Wake Forest on Sunday Night Hoops (March 8).
The ACC Tournament will be held in Atlanta, GA in 2009 from March 12-15. The games will be played in the Georgia Dome.
Date Day Opponent Time TV
Nov. 6 Thu. USC AIKEN (exhibition) 7:30 PM
Nov. 14 Fri. #TBA TBA ERT
Nov. 15 Sat. #TBA TBA ERT
Nov. 16 Sun. #TBA TBA ERT
Nov. 19 Wed. WOFFORD 7:30 PM
Nov. 22 Sat. at Charlotte 7:00 PM
Nov. 25 Tue. SAVANNAH STATE 8:00 PM
Nov. 28 Fri. PRESBYTERIAN 7:30 PM
Dec. 2 Tue. at Illinois 7:30 PM ESPN2
Dec. 7 Sun. LIBERTY 3:00 PM
Dec. 13 Sat. SC STATE 2:00 PM
Dec. 16 Tue. NORTH FLORIDA 7:00 PM
Dec. 21 Sun. at Miami (FL) 7:45 PM FSN
Dec. 30 Tue. at South Carolina 7:00 PM FSNS/FSNFL
Jan. 3 Sat. EAST CAROLINA 4:00 PM
Jan. 6 Tue. ALABAMA 9:00 PM FSNS
Jan. 10 Sat. NC STATE 12:00 PM Raycom split
Jan. 17 Sat. WAKE FOREST 3:30 PM ABC
Jan. 21 Wed. at North Carolina 9:00 PM ESPN
Jan. 25 Sun. GEORGIA TECH 7:45 PM FSN
Jan. 29 Thu. at Virginia Tech 7:00 PM ESPN or ESPN2
Feb. 4 Wed. DUKE 9:00 PM ESPN
Feb. 7 Sat. FLORIDA STATE 7:00 PM RSN
Feb. 11 Wed. at Boston College 9:00 PM RSN
Feb. 14 Sat. at Virginia 1:00 PM Raycom
Feb. 18 Wed. MARYLAND 7:30 PM ESPN2
Feb. 21 Sat. at Georgia Tech 1:00 PM Raycom
Feb. 25 Wed. VIRGINIA TECH 7:30 PM ESPN2
Feb. 28 Sat. at Florida State 2:00 PM Raycom split
Mar. 4 Wed. VIRGINIA 7:00 PM RSN
Mar. 8 Sun. at Wake Forest 6:00 PM FSN
Mar. 12-15 Thu-Sun. ACC Tournament TBA TBA
# - Charleston Classic (Charleston, SC)
Note: All times are Eastern Standard Time; ERT – ESPN Regional Television; FSN – Fox Sports National; FSNS – Fox Sports Net South; FSNFL – Fox Sports Net Florida; RSN – Regional Sports Network