Could Clemson Basketball be NCAA hopeful?

Clemson Basketball (usable)In one of their last games of the regular season, the Clemson men’s basketball team pulled out a win against Maryland in very exciting fashion. The game consisted of 13 lead changes and two overtimes, where Clemson finally defeated Maryland 77-73. This win brought the Tigers to 18-10 overall and 9-7 in the ACC. This victory pushes Clemson into sixth place in the ACC with only two games remaining until the ACC Tournament.

The ninth ACC win of the season marks only the ninth time in 61 years in the ACC that Clemson has had nine conference wins in a season. This win was also the first victory over Maryland since the 2009-2010 season. This season, the Tigers are now 9-0 when scoring more than 70 points in a game.

K.J. McDaniels reached double figures for the 25th time this season out of 28 games with 26 points against the Terrapins. He blocked 6 shots, putting him at 81 blocks for the season, and 10th in Clemson Basketball history for most blocked shots in a single season. He matched his personal best rebounds in a game with 14.

Rod Hall also scored in the double digits for the 15th time this season with 16 points. Ten of those points came in overtime. Damarcus Harrison scored in the double digits for the fourth game in a row with ten points. Landry Nnoko scored in the double digits for the seventh time this season with 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds, the most since his 13 rebounds in Clemson’s win over Duke.

“We showed a ton of resiliency, especially throughout the last 8-10 minutes of the game. We got down, had a little lead and lost it late in regulation, but the guys fought back and made plays,” said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell about the Tigers’ efforts. “They played a lot of minutes and I think they showed a lot of guts and courage to hang in there and come back and win.”

The Tigers led 33-32 at halftime but trailed Maryland by four points with five minutes remaining in regulation. They were able to come back and push the game into the first overtime. By the second overtime, Clemson and Maryland were switching the lead with every basket. With 1:17 remaining, Damarcus Harrison sunk a three-pointer that put Clemson ahead for good. Hall made two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to put the Tigers at 77 points.

The final two regular season games for Clemson are against Miami and Pittsburgh. Depending on how well other ACC teams perform in the last week of the regular season, Clemson has the potential to hold on to their number six spot in the ACC and not have to play in the first round of the ACC Tournament. If the Tigers can perform next weekend in Greensboro they can increase their odds of continuing to the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers’ second to last regular season game will take place in Littlejohn Coliseum on Tuesday night against Miami.

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