CLEMSON BASKETBALL

There will be plenty of high-stakes basketball in Littlejohn Coliseum down over the next month. (USA TODAY Sports-Joshua Kelly)
There will be plenty of high-stakes basketball in Littlejohn Coliseum down over the next month. (USA TODAY Sports-Joshua Kelly)

Clemson men, women featured in ESPN bracket projections


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Basketball season is hitting the final stretch and both Clemson men's and women's basketball teams are in the hunt for a ticket to the Big Dance.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi released his new men's projection on Tuesday, placing Clemson as a 10-seed in the West Region in a rematch with Mississippi State (an 82-71 loss in New Jersey without Marcquise Reed due to injury in December).

Brad Brownell's Tigers are among the last four "byes" in ESPN's projection to avoid the Dayton, Ohio play-in game. Clemson carried a NET ranking of No. 37 going into the week.

Amanda Butler's Tigers are seeking a first NCAA Tournament bid since the 2001-02 season and they also have little room for error in the next month.

ESPN's projections on the women's side have Clemson in the last four in as a 10-seed, getting sent to the Stanford pod.

The Clemson women are 15-9 overall and 6-5 in ACC action with No. 21 Florida State coming to Littlejohn Coliseum Thursday (7 p.m.). They then finish with three of their final four games on the road - all versus teams below them in the ACC standings, however.

Clemson men's basketball (15-8, 5-5) is on the road this week to Miami (7 p.m. Wednesday) and No. 16 Louisville (noon Saturday).

The two programs last made the NCAA Tournament in the same season in 1997-98.

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