Brad Brownell: “The hardest part of these losses is that it’s the end of a season”

Clemson v Alabama
Clemson v Alabama / Harry How/GettyImages

The Clemson Tigers fell just short of their first-ever trip to the Final Four.

A devastating loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide sent the Tigers home instead of to the next round and it ended a truly incredible NCAA Tournament run by Clemson.

The Tigers entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed in the West Region and they took down No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Baylor, and No. 11 New Mexico on their way to the Elite Eight.

Sadly, the Tide’s equally historic postseason performance would best Clemson’s chance at the Final Four. This is Alabama’s first appearance in the Final Four in program history.

“For whatever reason, we had a hard time guarding them,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said after the game. “I’m so proud of my team, the ride we’ve been on the last couple of weeks has not only been memorable for us.”

While Clemson was able to keep the game within a reasonable distance, the Tigers simply couldn’t catch the Tide.

Alabama walked away with an 89-82 win and a ticket to the Final Four.

“The hardest part of these losses is that it’s the end of the season,” Brownell said.

Late in the matchup, Joseph Girard III hit two clutch three-point shots to keep Clemson in the game. Girard finished the game with a team-leading 19 points.

Joining Girard in double-digit scoring, Ian Schieffelin finished with 18 points, PJ Hall scored 14 points, and to top it all off Chase Hunter and RJ Godfrey had 12 points a piece.

“This place has been unbelievable,” Girard said. “Clemson is an unbelievable place with unbelievable people… that win a lot of basketball games.”

Clemson finished its season at 24-12 overall. This was the program’s second-ever appearance in the Elite Eight.

"It hurts even more than you know you're not gonna be with the same team next year," Hall said. "Especially for older guys like me, Chase [Hunter], and Joe [Girard]."

The Crimson Tide will face the No. 1 seed UConn Huskies in the Final Four on April 6 in Glendale, AZ. All Final Four matchups will be available on TBS and TNT as well as NCAA March Madness Live and fuboTV.

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