Tigers close down ACC play Sunday

CLEMSON - It's been 15 games and almost two months since Clemson blew out Florida State by 20 in Littlejohn Coliseum.

WHAT: Clemson at No. 22 Florida State
WHERE: Donald L. Tucker Center (12,000) Tallahassee, Fla.
WHEN: Sunday, March 4 (12 p.m.)
SPREAD: FSU -8
TV: ESPN2/ESPN3 (Mike Patrick, Len Elmore)

Since then, Florida State has lost just three games and beaten ACC powerhouses Duke and North Carolina. The Seminoles are No. 22 in the country and figure to be playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Clemson has seen its share of ups and downs since their first game in ACC play. Lately, it's been mostly up for Brad Brownell and the Tigers. In the last six games, Clemson has five wins. A Saturday loss by Miami would keep the Tigers' hope for a fourth-place finish in the ACC alive.


Michael Snaer leads FSU in scoring at 13.8 points game. (Getty Images)
Because of the length of time between games, Brownell found it difficult to recall any specifics from the first meeting with Florida State.

"I know we played really well, just kind of caught them on their heels, probably surprised them because we weren't playing as well at that time of year," he said. "All of a sudden, it just kind of came together for us that day."

Brownell thought that Jan. 7 game may have been the Tigers' best performance of the season.

"Pretty close to it," he said. "It was a little bit of a perfect storm. A lot of things went right for us."

With the ACC regular season coming to a close on Sunday, Brownell doesn't expect there to be too many similarities with the first game.

"The teams have changed a lot," he said. "Florida State is certainly playing good basketball. We're playing better now, more consistently, which is good."

Florida State leads the overall series, 30-28, including a 17-8 advantage in Tallahassee.

The Seminoles defeated the Tigers last season in Tallahassee by a 75-69 score.

Florida State broke a two-game skid Thursday with a dramatic 63-60 win at Virginia on a three by Ian Miller as time expired.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Florida State (20-9, 11-4)
G #3 Luke Loucks (6-5, 201) - 6.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (6-5, 196) - 7.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG
G #21 Michael Snaer (6-5, 202) - 13.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG
F #1 Xavier Gibson (6-11, 248) - 7.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG
F #5 Bernard James (6-10, 240) - 10.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG

PROBABLE STARTERS Clemson (16-13, 8-7)
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 13.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 210) - 10.6 PPG, 5.7 RPG
F #21 Bryan Narcisse (6-6, 225) - 2.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG
F #24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225) - 9.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245) - 10.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG

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