The Clemson basketball team is in must-win mode right now and the Tigers have an opportunity to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The Clemson basketball team finished conference play in the regular season with a 9-9 record, including four wins in the last five games.
That was good enough for the ninth seed in the ACC Tournament, which pits Clemson basketball against the NC State Wolfpack (No. 8 seed). The winner of this one will advance to the quarterfinals to take on No. 1 seeded Virginia for a chance to get to the semifinals.
While advancing in the conference tournament is important, the most important game of the entire tournament, at least from a Clemson-NC State perspective, will be played today.
Of course the two teams would like to win the ACC Tournament. Of course they’d like to beat Virginia or knock off a top-tier team, but all of that would just be icing on the cake.
Both of these teams need to win this game Wednesday afternoon to feel good about their NCAA Tournament chances.
A Must-Win Game:
The loser of this one isn’t necessarily eliminated, but the winner punches their ticket.
Right now, both Clemson and NC State are squarely on the bubble. According to Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket, the Tigers and the Wolfpack are part of the “last four in” group. If the tournament started today, Lunardi believes that both of these teams would be participating in the play-in games.
But, the season isn’t over and there’s still a lot on the table.
In my opinion, the winner of this game most likely avoids the play-in round and gets listed as an 11 or 12 seed in the field. The loser will be hung out to dry with small hopes of making the tournament, but no way to control their own destiny.
They will depend squarely on the rest of the bubble losing or not taking care of business. That’s a dangerous place to be.
It will all be decided this afternoon when the two teams match up in Charlotte.