Clemson played its most difficult schedule in history in 2003-04.
That is demonstrated in many areas. First, Clemson's schedule is
ranked second in the nation by the Sagarin computer index published
by USA Today (as of March 16). The schedule ranked sixth in the
nation according to collegerpi.com. Sagarin does a final ranking at
the end of the season, while collegerpi.com does not.
A further examination of the NCAA and NIT fields shows that Clemson
played 23 games against teams that qualified for postseason play,
including 16 games against teams that are playing in the NCAA
Tournament. The 16 games against teams in the tournament ties the
school record also set in 1985-86 and 1988-89.
Ten different teams, six from the ACC and four non-conference squads
are playing in the NCAA Tournament the most in school history.
Clemson faced nine different teams during the regular season that
went on to the NCAA Tournament in 1985-86, 1988-89, 1990-91, 1996-97
Each of Clemson's last 18 games of the season and 23 of the last 25
were against teams who advanced to postseason play. The 23 games
against teams that went to postseason play is a record for one
Clemson season and the 82.1 percent of games played (23 of 28)
against postseason tournament teams is also a Clemson record.
Clemson's non-conference schedule included games against NCAA
Tournament teams South Carolina, Cincinnati, East Tennessee State and
Boston College, plus NIT participants Georgia and Purdue.
On a national scale, Clemson's 16 games against teams in the NCAA
Tournament is topped only by the 18 games Duke played against the
field during the season. Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida, NC State
and Maryland all had 16 games against NCAA teams. Clemson had a 4-12
record against the teams in the NCAA field, including wins over
Boston College, East Tennessee State, NC State and North Carolina.
It is interesting to note that Clemson had more wins over NCAA
Tournament teams than Gonzaga (3-2), Kansas (2-6), Southern Illinois
(1-3), Alabama (3-9), Brigham Young (3-4), Utah (2-5), Michigan State
(1-8), Arizona (3-6) and Richmond (3-10) and the same amount as
Illinois (4-) and Texas Tech (4-6).
Most Games Played against 2004 NCAA Field
Rk School Games Record Conference
1. Duke 18 14-4 ACC
2. Georgia Tech 16 10-6 ACC
NC State 16 9-7 ACC
Florida 16 9-7 SEC
Maryland 16 7-9 ACC
Clemson 16 4-12 ACC
7. Wake Forest 15 8-7 ACC
Georgia 15 6-9 SEC
Florida State 15 4-11 ACC
10. Cincinnati 14 8-6 Conference USA
North Carolina 14 7-7 ACC
Virginia 14 3-11 ACC