NEW ORLEANS – Following practice for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney watched the Tiger basketball team in overtime as it snapped a 59-game losing skid against North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Swinney follows Clemson basketball closely and knows the significance of getting over the hump and finally beating the Tar Heels on the road. The Tigers overcame a 10 point deficit with just over two minutes to play and held on to overtime where they won 79-76.
So, the Tiger football coach congratulated Brad Brownell and his program for crossing into new territory for Clemson basketball.
“And then I was with Dan Radakovich shortly after that, so it was pretty cool. But really just happy for Brad and his whole team.,” Swinney said.
The football coach heads over to Littlejohn Coliseum quite often to watch Brownell’s Tigers. He formed relationships with players and staff members over the years and knew the first step after Clemson was to congratulate.
“I texted Aamir Simms right away and texted back and forth with him last night,” Swinney said. “Just super proud of those guys, to be able to accomplish something that nobody has done, you talk about 59 years, man, that’s – you’d think sooner or later somewhere along the way you’d win one.”
Clemson had never won a game in Chapel Hill despite numerous opportunities throughout the years.
And Swinney had to reach out to Clemson basketball coach Broad Brownell, who tied Cliff Ellis for the most wins all-time for a Clemson coach. He also shot a text to Aamir Simms who scored a team high 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Swinney enjoys seeing his friend Brownell succeed despite the teams struggles this season and he believes it was a special moment that was long overdue.
“But it was pretty amazing. A long time coming, obviously, over 90 years, I guess, so a special moment for Coach B and his team and for Clemson,” Swinney said.
The basketball team returns to the hardwood Tuesday night at 6 p.m. against No. 2 Duke after the football team plays No. 1 LSU in the Superdome Monday at 8 p.m. EST.
Clemson is going back to the national championship game after once again winning the Fiesta Bowl over Ohio State. Get your official national championship and Fiesta Bowl champs gear right here!