No. 3 Miami highest-ranked team to visit LJC since Tigers ambushed Duke in 2009

After tonight, Clemson will have played four of AP's top nine teams: Arizona, Gonzaga, Duke, Miami

Clemson's K.J. McDaniels defends a shot attempt by N.C. State's C.J. Leslie.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson's K.J. McDaniels defends a shot attempt by N.C. State's C.J. Leslie.

Maryland and Florida State picked up victories on Saturday, leaving Clemson in position of needing an upset of No. 3 Miami to keep pace in the battle for middle ground in the ACC race.

The Terps outlasted Duke 83-81, while Florida State topped Boston College 69-60. Both teams now stand 6-6 in the ACC, tied for sixth place.

Clemson carries a 5-7 conference mark into its 6 p.m. nationally-televised game against the Hurricanes, who sit atop of the standings with a perfect 11-0 record.

Duke remained in second place at 9-3, followed by Virginia at 8-4. The Cavaliers dropped a 93-81 decision to North Carolina, which improved to 7-5.

Tied with the Tar Heels is N.C. State, which edged Virginia Tech 90-88 in overtime.

Georgia Tech improved to 4-8, as the Yellow Jackets bounced back from their loss to Clemson by edging Wake Forest 57-56. Wake stands 4-9 in conference play, and is followed by BC at 3-10 and Virginia Tech at 2-10.

Today's Game

Site:Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000)

Tip-off: 6:02 p.m.

Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Network (Pete Yanity - play-by-play; Tim Bourret - color)

TV: ESPNU (Carter Blackburn - play-by-play, Jay Williams - color, Allison Williams - sideline)

Rankings: Miami - No. 3 AP, No. 4 USA Today

The Miami Series

Overall: Clemson leads 11-7

at Clemson: Clemson leads 5-1

at Littlejohn: Clemson leads 5-1

at Miami: Miami leads 4-3

at Neutral: Clemson leads 3-2

First Meeting: Clemson won, 98-96, in 1955-56

Last Meeting: Miami won, 76-73, in 2011-12

Streak: Clemson has won five of last six

Noteworthy

• Clemson and Miami meet for the first time this season, and for the 19th time in the series. The Tigers hold an 11-7 lead all-time in the series and are 5-1 against the Hurricanes at home. Clemson has won five of the last six games overall.

• Miami is the highest ranked team to come to Littlejohn Coliseum since Clemson defeated a third-ranked Duke team in the 2008-09 season by a score of 74-47. The Hurricanes are No. 3 in the current AP poll and No. 4 in USA Today.

• After Sunday’s game, Clemson will have played four of the top nine ranked teams in the current AP poll. Duke (2), Gonzaga (5) and Arizona (9) are the others.

• Clemson owns nine wins all-time over teams ranked in the top three, including as recently as 2009 when the Tigers knocked off No. 3 Duke at home, 74-47.

• This will be Clemson’s second appearance on ESPNU’s Sunday Night Hoops package. The Tigers dropped a road game to NC State, 66-62, earlier this season in their first appearance.

• Clemson's Brad Brownell and Miami's Jim Larranaga have competed for years, going back to their days in the Colonial Athletic Association. Larranaga held a 6-4 advantage in 10 head-to-head matchups when he was at George Mason and Brownell was at UNC Wilmington.

• Clemson notched its first ACC road win of the season at Georgia Tech. The Tigers’ 56-53 victory was their seventh straight over the Yellow Jackets, Clemson’s longest versus an ACC foe since 11 in a row over Virginia from 1959-65.

• The Tigers swept the regular season series over Georgia Tech for the third straight season, the first time Clemson has accomplished that feat since the 1979-82 era.

• Sunday’s game features the ACC’s top two shot-blocking teams. Clemson is first at 5.3 per game, Miami second at 5.0.

• K.J. McDaniels has blocked at least one shot in 14 straight games and has scored double figures in six of Clemson’s last seven games, including a game-high 14 in the win at Georgia Tech. He scored Clemson’s final two field goals to help the Tigers stave off a late rally by the Yellow Jackets.

• Freshman guard Jordan Roper leads Clemson in three-point percentage with a .400 figure this season. If the season ended today, he would be one of five freshmen in school history to shoot at least 40 percent from three as a rookie.

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Comments » 1

Bigboots writes:

Clemson should be able to get the win. Miami has played well, but Littlejohn should be rocking for this one.

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