Tigers host Seminoles with ACC seeding on the line

by - Senior Writer -
Brownell's Tigers look like a lock for the NCAA Tournament
Brownell's Tigers look like a lock for the NCAA Tournament

CLEMSON – Brad Brownell doesn’t pay a lot of attention to the ACC’s tournament tiebreaking scenarios and what has to happen for the Tigers to make it as a top-four seed in next week’s tournament. He just wants to win games.

No. 18 Clemson plays host to Florida St. Wednesday night at 9 pm in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Seminoles have won four consecutive games against Clemson, including an 81-79 victory in overtime two weeks ago in Tallahassee. The Seminoles (19-9 overall and 8-8 in the ACC) are two games behind the Tigers (21-7, 10-6) in the ACC standings with two games to play.

“The last home game of the year. I sure hope we get a nice crowd out there. I know it's a late one, but it's the last chance for a couple of guys, like Gabe DeVoe, who has done a lot for our program,” Brownell said Tuesday. “We are certainly playing a talented team in Florida St., who got us last time. They have great size, length, and athleticism. They really come after you on defense and you have to rebound the fire out of the ball when you play them.”

Clemson defeated Georgia Tech Saturday, ending a three-game losing streak with a 75-67 win. The Tigers closed the week tied for fourth place in the ACC after North Carolina State won its third and fourth consecutive games.

The Tigers can finish anywhere from second to ninth in the ACC standings – the top four seeds earn a two-day bye in the tournament, which starts next week at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Brownell isn’t concerned about that, he just wants to win games and see what happens.

“I don't really worry a lot about it. Just trying to win games and see where we fall. I am not one of these coaches that has his head in the sand all the time, either,” he said. “I certainly keep an eye on other games. I don't watch games at night start to finish, but I peek at games. I am not really concerned whether it's fourth or fifth or sixth or seventh or eighth. I want to win as many as we can to put us in the best position for the ACC and NCAA Tournament.”

Brownell said he’s confident the team can finish strong – guard Marcquise Reed is ready to go after suffering a hand injury Saturday and guard Shelton Mitchell has fully recovered from a head injury suffered against FSU – and he’s happy the Tigers are a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

“There are so many good teams it's hard to separate yourself. You are going to go through this league and have losses. It's extremely competitive, great coaching and great home environments,” Brownell said. “One of the best things for us is that there aren't many teams in the country right now that are in the last weeks of their season and know they are in the NCAA Tournament, and we are really one of those. For us to not be sweating bullets the last two weeks of the season, I am proud of our team for what we've been able to accomplish. We've had to deal with injuries and we've done well.”

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