Countdown to tip off: Tigers have a lot to play for in final 2 regular season games

Countdown to tip off: Tigers have a lot to play for in final 2 regular season games

Basketball

Countdown to tip off: Tigers have a lot to play for in final 2 regular season games

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It doesn’t get any bigger than it does tonight for the Clemson basketball team. Playing for their postseason lives, the Tigers head to Blacksburg, Virginia to take on Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum for a 7 p.m., tip.

The last time Clemson hooked up with the Hokies was in the season opener way back on Nov. 5. Virginia Tech, with new head coach Mike Young, stunned the Tigers with a 67-60 win at Littlejohn Coliseum. However, that was four months ago and both teams are totally different now.

Clemson (15-13, 9-9 ACC) comes into tonight’s game having won four of its last five games and has put itself in position to finish as high as No. 5 in the ACC Standings. The Hokies (15-14, 6-12 ACC) come in struggling, having lost four straight games and 10 of their last 12 overall.

But the Tigers can’t worry about any of that, they need to stay focused on winning tonight and then on Friday against Georgia Tech in the season finale. If Clemson can win both games, it buts itself in the conversation for post-season play, likely the NIT, and could put itself on the NCAA Tournament bubble talk heading into next week’s ACC Tournament.

The Tigers are currently No. 72 in the NET rankings and with top 6 wins over Duke, Louisville and Florida State on their resume, anything is possible as long as they keep winning.

SETTING THE SCENE BETWEEN THE TIGERS AND HOKIES

Clemson at Virginia Tech

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va.

TV: ACC Network

  • The Clemson Tigers will look to move above the .500 mark in league play with its 10th win of the ACC season.
  • The contest will be televised on ACCN with Chris Cotter and Chris Spatola calling the action courtside, while Don Munson and Tim Bourret will call the action on the radio waves. The radio call will be available on the Clemson Tigers Network and Tunein.com.

CLEMSON/VIRGINIA TECH SERIES HISTORY:

  • OVERALL: Clemson trails series, 16-19
  • HOME: Clemson leads series, 10-6
  • ROAD: Clemson trails series, 6-12
  • NEUTRAL: Clemson trails series, 0-1
  • LAST MEETING: Nov. 5, 2019 (L, 60-67)
  • STREAK: Lost 1

CLEMSON BASKETBALL HEADLINES

  • Al-Amir Dawes scored 18 points, including the game-winning basket with 1.0 second left to top FSU, 70-69.
  • The Tigers earned their third Top-6 ranked win of the season and now leads the country in Top-6 victories.
  • Clemson overcame a 39-32 halftime deficit to defeat Florida State on Feb. 29. It was Clemson’s fifth victory after trailing at the half this season. That is the most halftime deficits overcome to gain victory since 201516.
  • The record for halftime deficits overcome for victory is six, set in 1989-90 and 2013-14.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH

  • Before Tech’s two last games, it had scored 15 fastbreak points in three of its last four games from Feb. 8-22. However, it has been held to a season-low zero its last two outings
  • Junior Wabissa Bede ranks fifth in the nation in assist-turnover ratio, owning a 3.31 average. He has dished out 18 assists compared to coughing up six TOs his last five games.
  • Freshman Jalen Cone has been feeling it as of late, scoring in double figures in three of his last five games, including a team-high 15 points at No. 10 Louisville.

POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP

Clemson

  • G 0 Clyde Trapp 6-4 194 Jr.
  • G 2 Al-Amir Dawes 6-2 180 Fr.
  • G 15 John Newman III 6-5 197 So.
  • F 13 Tevin Mack 6-6 227 Gr.
  • F 25 Aamir Simms 6-8.5 240 Jr.

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