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Clemson is going dancing, to play in March Madness on Friday

Toby Corriston
Clemson center PJ Hall celebrates after hitting a 3-pointer against North Carolina on Feb. 6, 2024.

The Clemson Tigers (21-11) are going dancing as the No. 6 seed in the West Regional and will play the No. 11 seed, New Mexico (26-9), in Memphis, Tennessee, at 3:10 p.m. on Friday.

If the Tigers are victorious on Friday, they will match up against the winner between the 3-seed Baylor and 14-seed Colgate.

“I am excited. This is what you want to be in,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said on Sunday. “You want to be involved in these kinds of games and these opportunities. So, I am super excited and happy for my staff.
“Our staff works tirelessly. I do not think people realize the amount of hours we work. Obviously, we love the game, but we love being in big games. So, being a part of this tournament is significant and it does not get old.”
The Tigers are not the only ACC team in the West Region, as North Carolina was selected as the No. 1 seed and will face the winner between Howard and Wagner. Outside of the West Region, there were three ACC teams selected by the committee: Duke (No. 4 seed), NC State (No. 11 seed), and Virginia (No. 10 seed).

Despite being a second-round exit in the ACC Tournament, the Tigers are coming off of one of their best basketball seasons over the past decade. Clemson finished the season with a 21-10 record (11-9 ACC) prior to their conference tournament loss to Boston College last week.

Clemson started the season off strong with key wins over teams such as Alabama and South Carolina. However, the Tigers’ hot start came to a screeching halt once they entered conference play, losing to teams like Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Nonetheless, Clemson was able to turn its season around after a massive road victory against North Carolina. That was the win that put the selection committee on notice, as the Tigers took control of their remaining schedule, doing enough to propel them to Brownell’s fourth tournament appearance in 14 seasons.

Senior center PJ Hall has led the Tigers all season, averaging 18.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

Along with Hall, graduate transfer Joseph Girard III has been very effective on the offensive end, especially from behind the arc. The former Syracuse guard has shot 42.5% from deep this season and has averaged 15.7 points per game. Besides Hall and Girard, Clemson has many other weapons that could be lethal throughout the tournament, such as Ian Schieffelin, Chase Hunter and Jack Clark.

New Mexico, on the other hand, was crowned Mountain West Tournament champions on Saturday.

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About the Contributors
Jose Zarraluqui, Senior Reporter
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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