One Quick Thing: Clemson Men's Basketball can't have a short memory

The Tigers exceeded most expectations by thrashing New Mexico on Thursday, but looking forward they need to remember what motivated that performance.

Clemson players celebrate after Chauncey Wiggins (21) hit a three pointer
Clemson players celebrate after Chauncey Wiggins (21) hit a three pointer / Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal / USA

Clemson Men’s Basketball defeated New Mexico 77-56 in Memphis, Tennessee on Friday afternoon to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They will face the Baylor Bears at 6:10 PM on Sunday.

The Lobos had been favored over the Tigers by 2.5 points most of the week. Just before tipoff that figure had dropped to 1.5 points at several places.

On a personal note, the bad news is that I did not pick Clemson on my bracket. The good news is that I was wrong.

I don’t think my belief that New Mexico would win was out of bounds. Several people who follow this game closely had similar instincts. I think this tweet from Rece Davis of ESPN summarizes my thinking very well.

I’m glad to say Clemson didn’t break my bracket, but otherwise, I think what Davis says is fair. Inconsistency is a word we have used a lot this scholastic year between the football team and now men’s basketball.

This is the exact reason I am not going to get too carried away with expectations for Sunday. If Clemson played the way they did Thursday, they have a puncher’s chance against anyone. If the guards find their shooting touch, the bigs are physical inside, and the bench is effective when the team needs them, then this team is more than capable of going to the Sweet 16. Perhaps farther.

If they play the way they did in the ACC Tournament against Boston College, then they will be planning their trip home by halftime.

I won’t forget that pathetic performance against the Eagles in Washington, DC, and I hope this team doesn’t forget it anytime soon either. It seems logical that they were motivated to prove that the performance that night was not who this team is.

Hopefully, they don’t let Thursday’s wonderful performance obscure their memory of how uncomfortable their ACC Tournament experience was, or else they might be doomed to repeat it. How this team finishes it's journey will dictate how it will be remembered.