The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Tigers Make Case for NCAA Tournament

After enduring a woeful December, the Clemson Tigers men’s basketball team achieved a miraculous amount of success in January. 

When discussing the team’s turnaround in a recent media session, Head Coach Brad Brownell said, “I thought we had a chance this year. I really did, but we got off to a poor start. That was very frustrating for all of us.” That speaks volumes to how powerful a coach’s faith in his team really is, as Brownell clearly did not accept the poor level of play from his squad in December and was able to right the ship before it was too late. 

Now, the Tigers are third in the ACC with a 7-3 conference record, which means they have a decent shot at winning their first ACC regular season title since 1990.

The Tigers went 6-2 in January, and both losses were on the road against NCAA Tournament-caliber teams in Virginia and Florida State. With wins over three ranked opponents (Louisville, Duke and Miami, respectively), the Tigers garnered national attention for their stellar January play. Those three wins over ranked teams were consecutive, marking a first for the Tigers.

In retrospect, Clemson’s January prosperity seems all the more remarkable due to the extreme difficulty of their schedule over the course of the entire month. 

Fortunately for the Tigers, easier opponents are on the horizon. As of now, Clemson’s next seven games are against unranked teams, which means that expectations are high in Tigertown. More specifically, expectations of an NCAA Tournament berth are high. 

Coach Brownell is fully aware of the challenge that the Tigers face in attempting to carry their January momentum onward. 

“We’ve got to continue to get better as a team and push forward, but I’m not completely surprised with what we’re doing. I thought we had a chance to have a good year this year.” 

Truthfully, Brownell might have been the only one who expected the Tigers to thrive like they did this past month at the inception of the New Year; December was arguably Clemson’s worst month since  Brownell took the helm. 

The Tigers cannot rest on their laurels, though, as February brings with it a schedule that will either make or break their March Madness hopes. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *