There’s one week of the regular season remaining for the Clemson basketball team. Here’s the Tigers’ path to the NCAA Tournament after a tough loss to UNC.
The Clemson basketball team suffered yet another heart-breaking loss this past weekend, this time at the hands of the North Carolina Tarheels.
The Tigers competed with the Tarheels- a top-five team in the nation- but came up just two points shy with a questionable no-call to end the game.
With the loss, Clemson basketball fell to 7-9 in the ACC with just two games remaining before the beginning of the conference tournament. Despite the loss- which was the fourth loss by two points or less in conference play this season- the Tigers still have tournament hopes alive.
What will it take? Here’s a look.
The Path to the NCAA Tournament…
For Clemson basketball to feel good about its chances, the Tigers need to win the final two games of the regular season and then one game in the ACC Tournament.
Clemson plays @ Notre Dame tonight and then plays Syracuse at home this weekend to close out the season. The Tigers should be able to beat both of those teams and will need to, in my opinion.
If they win those two, they could basically lock up a berth in the NCAA Tournament with a win over, presumably, NC State in the ACC Tournament. This would the 8-vs.-9 game in the conference tournament.
A loss in one of these three games doesn’t necessarily knock the Tigers out, though.
The bubble this season is very weak and there’s a chance that a few other teams could play the Tigers into the field. What Clemson can’t have happen is to have teams- like Wofford- from one-bid conferences lose. That would create less at-large bids and, as a result, make the chances much less likely.
In the end, it really comes down to this week. The Tigers can get into the NCAA tournament with a couple of quality wins to close out the season. They’ll have a chance to make some noise in the conference tournament, as well, but it’s going to come down to their mindset.
There’s certainly not any room for error, but the season isn’t over. Clemson is more than capable of winning these next three games- two in the regular season and one in the conference- but it’s best to just take it one game at a time.
It all starts tonight with Notre Dame.