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Where does Clemson stack up in March Madness projections?

Toby Corriston
Clemson’s PJ Hall (24) and the Tigers are looking for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2021.

There are less than four weeks until the Selection Committee releases the bracket for the NCAA Tournament. Until then, teams across the country will have to hope that their wins and losses will be enough to hear their school’s name called on Selection Sunday, set for March 17.

One of those teams is Clemson.

As of Tuesday, the Tigers currently sit in the middle of the ACC standings with a 7-7 conference record and a 17-8 overall record. Despite an underwhelming stretch of games in conference play, head coach Brad Brownell and his team are in a great position to make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2020-2021 season, thanks to a 9-0 start to the season, which included wins over ranked opponents.

The only way for the Tigers to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament before Selection Sunday is to win the ACC Tournament. Even if that is not the case, Clemson has the resume to give the squad a berth and have a chance to play deep into March.

According to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, the Tigers sat in a No. 5 seed as of Tuesday. Despite a one-point loss to NC State at home last Saturday, their projected seeding did not change as they remained one of the top 20 teams in the country based on their resume.

Last season, Brownell and his team had the best ACC record in school history but fell short of the tournament due to their performances in out-of-conference matchups. Those losses ended up being detriments that spoiled the ending of Clemson’s historic season.

Inversely, the team has a great rank in the projected tournament due to its performances in the out-of-conference games at the beginning of the season. Thanks to the Tigers’ 11-1 start with wins over South Carolina, TCU, Boise State and Alabama — all of whom are projected to make the tournament — the team is in great standing.

A 4-3 record in Quadrant 1 games this season is another boost to the resume.

The Tigers’ .500 record in conference play does not mean they do not have the resume to help their tournament chances, considering Clemson traveled to Chapel Hill earlier this month and took down the then-ranked No. 3 Tar Heels.

Similarly, after losing to Miami in early January, the Tigers came away with a 17-point victory against the Hurricanes on Feb. 14. While Miami is not a tournament team as of right now, it helps to negate the severity of the January loss.

Looking ahead, the Tigers still have plenty of games to bolster their resume with. Teams like Pittsburgh and Wake Forest are currently bubble teams, with wins over both almost guaranteeing a ticket to the Big Dance.

If the season ended today, the Tigers would most likely find themselves making the tournament. The job is not finished yet, though a solid finish to the season will give Clemson a great chance to be named a high seed on Selection Sunday.

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About the Contributors
Griffin Barfield
Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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