NO.3 SEED CLEMSON CRUSHES NO.6 NC STATE 80-54 IN ACC QUARTERFINAL
- 2023-03-10 09:01:17
GREENSBORO, NC - WOW, what a game! I have to admit that I didn't know if the Tigers could beat NC State for a third time this season. That rarely happens against a good team like State. On top of that, State had a big crowd advantage and just blown out VA Tech last night, so they were coming in hot with momentum, confidence and a chip on their shoulder from having ben embarrassed at home by the Tigers just a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Tigers, while rested, were coming in cold. None of that seemed to matter tonight, as the Tigers absolutely dominated the second half.
PJ Hall picked up his second foul on the last possession of the first half and his third foul on the opening possession of the second half, meaning he would have to spend significant time on the bench with the Tigers leading by just 3 points. However, sophomores Ian Schieffelen and Ben Middlebrooks stepped up, and the Tigers actually extended their lead to 13 with Hall on the bench. Ian had a tremendous game with 15 points, and Hall scored 15 as well in just 18 minutes. Middlebrooks played the most minutes of his career at 22 and scored 8 points with 5 rebounds. He also did a great job manning up against 315-pound DJ Burns.
I said many times that I believed the Tigers had done enough to make the NCAA Tournament, win or lose to NC State, Well, if they weren't already in, they certainly are a lock now! State was projected as a 10 seed going into today, and the Tigers have blown them out 3 times by a combined 65 points! It's the second straight year that the Tigers have knocked the Pack out of tournament. Hunter Tyson agrees with my opinion, but the Tigers have bigger fish to fry now than worrying about simply making the NCAA Tournament. The need just two more wins to claim the program's first-ever ACC Tournament title! It will be a tough matchup with UVA on Friday night, though. I do think that is probably a better draw for the Tigers than UNC, which would have had a huge home crowd and beat the Tigers by 20 a few weeks ago in Chapel Hill. The Tigers held their own in Charlottesville against the Hoos, losing by just 6 points.
Highlights and post-game interviews are below!
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