Another must-win for Clemson

Brad Brownell is well-aware of the situation his team has put itself in over the course of the last week.

WHAT: Clemson at Miami
WHERE: BankUnited Center (7,200) - Miami, Fla.
WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 20 (3:30 p.m.)
SPREAD: Miami by 1

After losing by two at home to North Carolina, Clemson (17-9, 6-6) followed up with a disappointing 69-61 loss at N.C. State on Thursday.

If there ever was a must-win game for the Tigers, this is it.

A win keeps the hope alive for a school-record fourth-straight NCAA Tournament bid while a loss likely requires a run deep into the ACC Tournament, and maybe a championship.

"I think that we're wise enough to know the last two losses have hurt us," Brownell said. "You can't give the NCAA Tournament speech. You'd be giving it the last nine games of the season…you can talk in general terms about it. That's not what your focus is.

"You play the games to win and do as well as you can in your league. Then, wherever that stacks up, you're either going to get an NCAA Tournament berth or not."

The focus Sunday is on Miami.

Clemson looks to extend its winning streak over the 'Canes to five games on Saturday when the Tigers head to Coral Gables to face the Hurricanes for the second time this season.

Demontez Stitt scored 20 points in Clemson's seven-point win over Miami last month at Littlejohn Coliseum. (Roy Philpott)
Back in January when the teams first met, Clemson rolled 79-72.

Miami (16-10, 4-7) continues to rely on the New York guard duo of Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant.

"I think Miami is very talented. They're like us. They've lost several close games," Brownell said. "Their record could be reversed, certainly what they are in the league…they've had several games that they've played really well in that have come down to a couple of plays here or there. We played a very good game to be them at home here."

Then, of course, there's Reggie Johnson, who nearly averages a double-double.

"They've got the interior scorer and the two perimeter players," Brownell said. "Scott can beat you off of dribble penetration and Grant can beat you from three."

Miami (16-10, 4-7)
G #1 Durand Scott (6-3, 200) - 13.5 PPG, 3.3 APG
G #3 Malcolm Grant (6-1, 180) - 15.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG
F #31 DeQuan Jones (6-7, 219) - 5 PPG, 2.6 RPG
F #25 Garrius Adams (6-6, 196) - 7.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG
C #42 Reggie Johnson (6-10, 303) - 12.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG

Clemson (17-9, 6-6)
G #2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 180) - 14 PPG, 4.3 RPG
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 10.8 PPG, 3.0 APG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 210) - 8 PPG, 3.6 RPG
F #45 Jerai Grant (6-8, 230) - 12.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245) - 7.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG Top Stories