Tigers land in 6-seed for ACC Tourney

Pittsburgh's Josh Newkirk hits a last second shot in the second half to tie the game against Clemson 67-67. The made basket sent the game into overtime where Pittsburgh defeated Clemson 83-78 at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson on Saturday.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Pittsburgh's Josh Newkirk hits a last second shot in the second half to tie the game against Clemson 67-67. The made basket sent the game into overtime where Pittsburgh defeated Clemson 83-78 at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson on Saturday.

About a tenth of a second came between Clemson and both a marquee win against Pittsburgh and a top-five seed in the ACC Tournament Saturday.

Sunday, they found out just how far Josh Newkirk’s late-game-of-late-game shots-to-overtime loss dropped them – just one spot, to a six-seed. Clemson (19-11, 10-8 ACC) will await the winner of Wednesday’s matchup in Greensboro, N.C. between 11-seed Georgia Tech (15-16, 6-12) and 14-seed Boston College (8-23, 4-14) for a game after 9 p.m. on Thursday.

The Tigers were picked 14th preseason by the ACC media.

They swept their games with the Eagles and Yellow Jackets, taking a home-and-home with Tech (63-55 on the road; 45-41 at home) and won at BC to open the season (62-60). If the Tigers advance, they will take on 3-seed Duke (24-7, 13-5), who they beat by 13 in Littlejohn Coliseum in January.

On Saturday, Clemson led Pitt by nine at the half, shooting 58 percent, and led by as much as 10 in the second session.

Clemson held a five-point edge with 13 seconds left after a pair of Jaron Blossomgame free throws, but a Lamar Patterson three-pointer put the Panthers in position for a stunning late-game scenario.

As time ticked on the five-second count, Clemson’s Damarcus Harrison forced a desperation pass in his own end that was stolen and turned into the game-tying basket.

The Panthers scored the first seven points of overtime and the Tigers never recovered.

“Obviously it will be with me for a while,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “It’s disappointing because we played well enough to win. Guys made good plays. We had a lot of guys play well today, but that is going to be overshadowed because of the way we played the last 15 seconds.

“That is hard to get over, but we’ve got (Saturday night) to feel sorry for ourselves and then we need to wake up (Sunday) and try to get ready for the ACC Tournament.”

2014 ACC Tournament Bracket

ACC graphic

2014 ACC Tournament Bracket

Four Tigers were in double-figures, including a 12th game of 20 or more points for All-ACC candidate K.J. McDaniels (24 points).

After going scoreless the previous two games, sophomore guard Jordan Roper knocked down three from the perimeter for 12 points. Blossomgame added 14 points and six boards, while junior guard Rod Hall scored 12 and dished six assists.

“There were definitely a lot of positives out of this one and the past two games,” Blossomgame said. “We just have to keep our heads up. It’s a tough loss, but we have an opportunity to do something great next week at the ACC Tournament.”

Clemson hasn’t won an ACC Tournament game since 2011, 70-47 against Boston College, before a five-point loss in overtime to No. 6 North Carolina in the quarterfinals.

The Tigers have won two ACC Tourney games in a row just twice in their history (1962 and 2008).

Follow Brandon Rink on Twitter @brink_aim and OrangeandWhite.com @orangeandwhite.

© 2014 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 4

84tele writes:

6th. 15th, 1st. Doesn't matter if they aren't coached on how to inbound the ball.

lhaselden writes:

in response to 84tele:

6th. 15th, 1st. Doesn't matter if they aren't coached on how to inbound the ball.

If you look at the bracket for the tournament ... what matters is not to be in the last 6 teams. The last 6 teams have to win 5 games in 5 days to win the tournament.
I have the way the ACC tournament is set up. The #1 team should be the only team with a bye on Wendesday the #2 vs #15, #3 vs #14, #4 vs #13. The winners play again on Friday.
on thursday 5vs12 6vs11 7vs10 8vs9 the winners play on Friday.

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to lhaselden:

If you look at the bracket for the tournament ... what matters is not to be in the last 6 teams. The last 6 teams have to win 5 games in 5 days to win the tournament.
I have the way the ACC tournament is set up. The #1 team should be the only team with a bye on Wendesday the #2 vs #15, #3 vs #14, #4 vs #13. The winners play again on Friday.
on thursday 5vs12 6vs11 7vs10 8vs9 the winners play on Friday.

The bottom 6 teams are dreadful. The only good news for them is that 3 of those teams are guaranteed to win a tournament game. It doesn't matter for Clemson. They'll beat a bad team whether it's BC or GT. Then they've got Duke only this time it's not in Littlejohn which as you know is the only place Clemson can win a game. It's in Greensboro and Duke practically owns the Greensboro Coliseum. Goodnight. Drive home safely.

ACC Tournament predictions:

WED: ND over Wake, Miami over VT, GT over BC

THUR: MD over FSU, Pitt over ND, NC State over Miami, Clemson over GT

FRI: UVa over MD, UNC over Pitt, NC State over Syracuse, Duke over Clemson

SAT: UNC over UVa, Duke over NC State

SUN: Duke cuts down the nets... again.

1 more thing: If TJ Warren doesn't win ACC POY then they should either stop giving out the award or just paint it blue. Warren is 3rd in the nation in scoring with ZERO help on his team and he's the 1st player to lead the ACC in scoring and FG% since TIM DUNCAN. Oh and he's 4th in the conference in steals at 1.8 per game.

BrandonRink writes:

in response to YabbaDaboDooDoo:

The bottom 6 teams are dreadful. The only good news for them is that 3 of those teams are guaranteed to win a tournament game. It doesn't matter for Clemson. They'll beat a bad team whether it's BC or GT. Then they've got Duke only this time it's not in Littlejohn which as you know is the only place Clemson can win a game. It's in Greensboro and Duke practically owns the Greensboro Coliseum. Goodnight. Drive home safely.

ACC Tournament predictions:

WED: ND over Wake, Miami over VT, GT over BC

THUR: MD over FSU, Pitt over ND, NC State over Miami, Clemson over GT

FRI: UVa over MD, UNC over Pitt, NC State over Syracuse, Duke over Clemson

SAT: UNC over UVa, Duke over NC State

SUN: Duke cuts down the nets... again.

1 more thing: If TJ Warren doesn't win ACC POY then they should either stop giving out the award or just paint it blue. Warren is 3rd in the nation in scoring with ZERO help on his team and he's the 1st player to lead the ACC in scoring and FG% since TIM DUNCAN. Oh and he's 4th in the conference in steals at 1.8 per game.

It's not like being better at home than the road is some weird thing in college basketball. Top-10 Duke and Clemson had the same road record in ACC play (4-5).

I wouldn't be surprised if UNC takes a Sunday rematch with Duke, but that may not happen if Syracuse gets to the semis. As for Clemson, making quarterfinal Friday would certainly be a step forward for the program with some of the signees coming in. If they can get to Friday, I expect a down-to-the-wire one with Duke.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features