The Clemson basketball team will take on perennial power Wichita State in the second round of the NIT Tournament. Here’s our prediction and analysis for the game.
Clemson basketball survived and advanced against Wright State Tuesday evening and, as a result, earned another opportunity to host a game.
The Tigers will take on Wichita State in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Wichita State, a program that typically always makes the NCAA Tournament, is not the same team we are used to seeing. With that being said, they are still a dangerous out in the NIT Tournament coming off a win on the road against Furman.
The Paladins were just a win or two away from being in the big dance, but came up just short. Furman had a raucous crowd behind them during the first-round game Wednesday evening, but it was ultimately the Shockers that came away with a 76-70 victory.
Greg Marshall’s ball team is young and inexperienced. They have been fighting to get to the NIT Tournament since February and did just that. Normally this would be a team in the NCAA Tournament, but it seems that they were zeroed in on getting back to the NIT and building on that appearance into next year.
Wichita State is a team that likes to get up and down the floor and will score a lot of points.
The Shockers are led by 6-foot-8 guard Markis McDuffie, who is averaging 18.3 points per game. Wichita State is playing much better basketball as of late and are obviously motivated to get to Madison Square Garden.
The key for Clemson basketball will be slowing down McDuffie. I expect David Skara to get that assignment and it will be interesting to see how he performs. The Shockers also have a talented 7-foot-0 center in Asbjorn Midtgaard who will battle in the paint.
Honestly, I’m not sure that Clemson matches up well with Wichita State without Shelton Mitchell. The Tigers are going to need Elijah Thomas to play big and stay out of foul trouble, as well as Marcquise Reed to have a big game.
I question the motivation, still, for the Tigers and if they’re not motivated, they’ll get beat. I’ve got Clemson winning as the Tigers are the more talented and experienced team, but it certainly won’t be an easy outing.
Clemson 77, Wichita State 70