Bracket Watch: Margin of error thin but Clemson firmly on bubble


by - Staff Writer -
(USA TODAY Sports-Jason Getz)
(USA TODAY Sports-Jason Getz)

A pair of one-point road losses last week have Brad Brownell’s Tigers in a precarious position for NCAA Tournament hopes.

CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm has Clemson (15-10, 5-7 ACC) as the last at-large bid in the First Four, facing another 12-seed in Butler.

On the bad side of the bubble, USA TODAY projects Clemson in the first four out. Clemson also dropped out of the NCAA Power 36 rankings after checking in at No. 32 last week.

The Tigers will need a run like the four-game streak going into last week to stay in the mix - and there are some resume-builders in the slate.

That starts with essentially a must-win at home versus No. 16 Florida State Tuesday (9 p.m./ESPNU) and then the final five games feature winnable road trips at Pittsburgh (12-14, 2-11 ACC; RPI: 153) and Notre Dame (13-12, 3-9; RPI: 125) and key home games with Boston College (13-11, 4-8; RPI: 127), North Carolina (20-5, 10-2; RPI: 11) and Syracuse (17-8, 8-4; RPI: 42).

TeamRankings.com projects four wins out of that stretch and gives Clemson a 28 percent chance of an NCAA Tournament bid.

Clemson NCAA Tournament profile

Record: 15-10 (5-7 ACC)

NET: 41

Record v. NET Quadrant 1 & 2: 4-10

Strength of Schedule: 43

Average NET of Wins: 156

Average NET of Losses: 33

Bad losses (150+ NET): None

RPI: 58

Road/neutral record: 4-8

KenPom: 30

Record v. current KenPom top-50: 2-8

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

Last 10: 5-5

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