CLEMSON BASKETBALL

Bracket Watch: ACC Tourney opener looking crucial for Clemson, NC State

Bracket Watch: ACC Tourney opener looking crucial for Clemson, NC State


by - Staff Writer -

The latest NCAA Tournament projections don't exactly paint a picture of comfort going into the ACC Tournament for Brad Brownell's Tigers.

A sweep of Notre Dame and Syracuse last week ensured an even record in regular-season ACC action (9-9) and a 19-12 mark overall, but with a number of conference tournaments to go this week, Clemson is still among the projected last four in on CBS and ESPN going into Wednesday's noon matchup with NC State.

ESPN's 'Bubble Watch' set the scene for Clemson on Sunday:

"The enemy for Clemson is now the rest of the bubble. After winning at home 67-55 against Syracuse in the season finale, the Tigers will be showing up on many 'last four in' and, yes, 'first four out' lists. That's preferable to 'next four out,' certainly, but it's still a precarious position to occupy heading into what is always a wild and tumultuous Championship Week. Even the slightest contraction of the bubble brought about by even a single bid thief, for example, could prove calamitous to Clemson. Bottom line, there could be an at-large bid in the offing for the Tigers even in the event of an early exit from the ACC tournament."

NC State is in a similar position, projected in the last four in by ESPN and not even on the first four out for CBS with a strong NET ranking (32) and a substandard RPI (103). Clemson is up to No. 35 in the NET and No. 49 in the RPI.

Clemson moved up to No. 28 in the KenPom ratings over the last week, which is ahead of NC State (31) and another ACC team in Syracuse (38). The Tigers have a No. 10-rated defense nationally and No. 80 offense.

Clemson men NCAA Tournament profile

Record: 19-12 (9-9 ACC)

NET: 35

Record v. NET Quadrant 1 & 2: 7-12

Strength of Schedule: 33

Bad losses (150+ NET): None

RPI: 49

Road/neutral record: 6-8

KenPom: 28

Record v. current KenPom top-50: 2-10

Top-25 ranked wins (at the time): No. 11 Virginia Tech (59-51 at home)

Last 10: 6-4

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Clemson women projected as 9-seed in NCAA Tournament

On the women's side, Clemson appears to be comfortably in the NCAA Tournament field for the first time since 2002.

ESPN's bracketology sends the Amanda Butler's Tigers to Waco, Texas in the Baylor regional with a first-round matchup with No. 8-seed California.

Clemson has an RPI of 51 currently after a playing a top-30 schedule (27). The women's tournament selection show will be next Monday at 7 p.m.

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