Clemson did not have long to celebrate its first round tournament win over Maryland, because all were well aware that #2 North Carolina loomed in the background. The Tar Heels were the ACC regular season champs with 14-2 conference record.
UNC swept the regular season series with Clemson. Recently, the Heels have been playing without Rashad McCants, but McCants is expected to return and play 10-15 minutes on Friday. ACC Player of the Year candidate Sean May has been on fire in his absence. In the season finale against Duke, May posted 26 points and 24 rebounds.
On paper, it appears Clemson is walking into a disaster. UNC maybe favored to win the National Championship and has possibly 4 lottery picks on their roster. The Tigers will be playing against all odds. Clemson is a young team, who has came together late in the season. Everyone wants to talk about the future, but the future could be tomorrow. This team has carried a fearless attitude all season, and the mentality must remain the same tomorrow.
Friday's game will not make or break the Clemson program, but if Clemson finds a way to pull off the upset, it could be one of the biggest wins in school history. (How many times have you thought about Greg Buckner's dunk today?) One thing Clemson has proven is they will not back down. Maryland punched them early and they fought back. UNC will more than likely try to break the Tigers early.
You can talk matchups, which clearly go into UNC's favor or you can just believe. All Tigers should be proud of the steps this program has made this year. The deck is stacked against them tomorrow, but this is March Madness. Tomorrow at noon, all Tigers will be looking for that one shining moment.