January 9 will always be considered the greatest date in Clemson history.
It is the date of Clemson’s first win over the nation’s No. 1 team in both football and men’s basketball. On January 9, 1980 Clemson defeated No. 1 ranked Duke in basketball, 87-82, in overtime at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum. It marked the first time Clemson defeated the nation’s top team in men’s basketball.
Then, Clemson recorded its first win over No. 1 in football on January 9, 2017 when the Tigers defeated Alabama to win the national championship. Clemson had been 0-5 against No. 1 ranked teams in its football history prior to this year.
Why I am bringing this up? Well, Clemson’s baseball team has an opportunity to beat the No. 1 ranked team and the top-seeded team in the NCAA Tournament in Oregon State should the Tigers and Beavers both win their NCAA Regionals this weekend.
If that happens, then Clemson will travel to Corvallis, Ore., the weekend of June 9-12 to take on top-ranked Oregon State with a trip to Omaha, Neb., on the line.
How cool would that be?
Clemson already had to take down the No. 1 ranked team to win the College Football Playoff National Championship and now the baseball team could have the opportunity to do the same thing to get to the College World Series for the first time in seven years.
What makes it even more intriguing is the fact never before have two of the three major sports teams at Clemson knocked off the No. 1 ranked teams in the country in the same academic year.
However, to get that opportunity, the Tigers must first do something it has not done since it last went to Omaha for the CWS … win a regional. Clemson has not won a regional since it beat Auburn in the Auburn Regional back in 2010. It later won the Clemson Super Regional over Alabama to advance to the CWS.
“It would be awesome to win the regional,” Clemson pitcher Charlie Barnes said. “It is cool being matched up against the No. 1 overall seed. It will be a really good opportunity to show that we belong and that we can play with anyone.
“It is obviously a long way away so that will be cool as well. I have never been to Oregon so that will be exciting as well.”