For any Clemson basketball fan holding out hope of an NCAA Tournament appearance, the Tigers have one last chance to make that happen.
The vast majority of Clemson basketball fans have likely already moved on to spring sports due to the disappointing fashion in which this season has gone.
Though the ACC was in a down year, the Tigers couldn’t take advantage and finished with just a 15-15 overall record and a 9-11 record in conference. Clemson basketball beat the likes of Duke, UNC (though they were down), Louisville and Florida State during the regular season, but the Tigers also lost games to teams like Miami, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.
The most disappointing stretch of the season was the end.
Just as Clemson had gotten back into the bubble picture of the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers dropped two-straight games to close out the regular season. Clemson lost handily on the road against Virginia Tech 70-58 and then was beaten on Senior Night to close the season by Georgia Tech 65-62.
Those two losses all but eliminated Clemson basketball from any contention of getting an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
For those holding out any hope, it would take a near miracle for the Tigers to make the big dance at this point.
Clemson begins the ACC Tournament Wednesday with a match-up against Miami in an 8-9 seed game. If the Tigers find a way to win that one, they’ll be tasked with playing Florida State in the quarter-finals. Beating the Seminoles once seemed improbable enough, but twice would be absolutely uncanny.
If that somehow did happen, this is when things get interesting.
Clemson isn’t going to get an at-large bid and so that means the Tigers must win the ACC Tournament. Perhaps there would be a chance if they advanced to the ACC Championship game and lost close, but that still doesn’t seem all too likely at this point.
Clemson would likely have to beat Duke in the semifinals- for a second time- and then win the ACC Tournament Championship game likely against Louisville or Virginia.
Is it probable? Absolutely not. But the team still has a chance. They’ve shown they can compete with anyone and- if they get hot- maybe they can make a run at this thing.
This has certainly been a disappointing Clemson basketball season- because of the nature of the ACC and the crazy wins over top opponents, but bad losses mixed in- and it will be interesting to see what the Tigers do moving forward.