NIT NO.2 SEED CLEMSON SEES SEASON END WITH 63-55 LOSS TO WICHITA STATE
- 2019-03-24 22:13:12
CLEMSON, SC - It was another frustrating close loss to end a season of heartbreakers. The Tigers fought hard, playing from behind the entire game without starting point guard Shelton Mitchell. They had the ball down 3 points with just over a minute left but just couldn't finish. The dagger today was the 3-pointer the Shockers hit at the shot clock buzzer after a great 30 seconds of defense by the Tigers in the final minute. That put them up 6, and if he misses, the Tigers have the ball with a chance to send the game to overtime. It's hard to beat a good team like Wichita State without your starting point guard. The Shockers have won 12 of their last 15 and 7 of their last 8. Before this season, they were the #1 team in the nation on the road since 2010, and they barely missed the NCAA Tourney, losing by 3 to #24 Cincy in their conference championship game. Had the Tigers won, it would have been unlikely that they would have gone to Assembly Hall to beat No.1 seed Indiana with the home crowd and no Shelton Mitchell. It's never easy to end a season this way, though, especially for this senior group.
The Tigers were just a few breaks away from being a top-25 team this season. They were still ranked in the top 30 BPI and NET rankings despite all the close losses. Who knows if they would have won a game or two in the NCAA Tourney, but they would have had a good chance if Mitchell played. Tough to see a great group of players like Eli, Reed and Mitchell go out like this. It will probably be a rebuilding year next season unless a couple guys like Simms, Trapp, Tyson, Newman or Jemison really step up their game.
Post-game interviews with Brownell, Reed, Mitchell and Gregg Marshall are below.
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