Though Clemson would love to be in Georgia Tech’s shoes Sunday morning and have that automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament in its hands as the ACC Tournament Champion, they did not lose any sleep over it.
Granted the Tigers would have liked to have made a run in the ACC Tournament, but they are not dwelling on their loss to Miami in Day 2 of the event last Wednesday. Instead, their focus is on today and finding out what is next.
It is a complete contrast from the last couple of years when Clemson was unclear what the postseason might look like. The Tigers last made the Big Dance in 2018 when it advanced to the Sweet 16. Though they had a 20-win season in 2019, they just missed the tournament and last year the postseason was canceled due to COVID-19.
“It is easier from the standpoint that the NCAA Tournament is the reward for your whole season. It has been a heck of a season,” Clemson head Brad Brownell said. “Our guys have accomplished a lot so far. We obviously have bigger goals in front of us.”
Clemson (16-7, 10-6 ACC) is a lock this year to make the tournament thanks in large part to what it accomplished in the regular season. Besides winning 10 games in the ACC and beating conference champion Georgia Tech, the Tigers also beat possible NCAA Tournament teams Purdue, Maryland, Alabama, Florida State, North Carolina, Louisville and Syracuse.
The Tigers’ resume is perhaps the best of anyone in the ACC and one of the best in the country. The only uncertainty they have this year is what seed they might be. As of Sunday morning, ESPN had them as a No. 10 seed. Earlier projections had the Tigers has high as a No. 6.
“We are still disappointed because we wanted to play well (in the ACC Tournament),” Brownell said. “We wanted to do better. But are we excited about Indianapolis and the NCAA Tournament? Yes!
“Are we excited right now? No. But tomorrow when we wake up, it looks like we are going to be in. That is awesome. We get a couple of days to regroup and try to get ourselves ready to go and find out what’s next. We will be excited and ready to roll when that opportunity presents itself.”
That opportunity will present itself tonight when the NCAA reveals its field of 68 teams for its tournament at 6 p.m.
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