Down to the nitty-gritty

CLEMSON - With one game left in regular season play, Clemson is doing its damnedest to make it difficult for the NCAA Tournament's selection committee to keep them out.

The Tigers sport a record of 19-10 [10-7 ACC].

According to warrennolan.com, they entered Tuesday night's game with an RPI of 74. Immediately after the 58-54 win over Miami, it jumped to 68.

The strength of schedule is 97.

Against Top 50 RPI teams, Clemson is 1-4.

In their last 10 games, they're 6-4.

Damarcus Harrison, who scored 12 points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field against the Hurricanes, knows his team needs to beef up its resume. He believes that a win over Pittsburgh on Saturday will be enough to punch a ticket to the dance.

"In my mind, I think we should," Harrison said. "But it's not up to me. Hopefully, they can see how hard we've played this year."

In a way, it is up to Harrison and his teammates. The more they win, the better their chances of getting an invite to the NCAA Tournament.

Landry Nnoko said that is the ultimate goal.

"Every time in the huddles and stuff, we just talk about keep advancing. Just give ourselves an opportunity to advance and play in March," he said. "That's all we talk about."

Harrison added, "That's a thing we've got, to have a chance to advance in March. That's what we're playing for. That's the big thing that we look for -- just having a chance to advance in March.

"We want to make the tournament and advance in the tournament."

An NCAA Tournament appearance would mark the first-time Brad Brownell has taken a Clemson team to the dance since his first season on the job [2010-11].

"We knew that the Wake game -- we let one get away, because we played so poorly in the second half and we know that we've just got to keep winning games," Brownell said. "We can't worry about all of the other things going on.

"Anybody that follows anything knows we've just got to keep winning. Our backs are against the wall with that. We've been there this whole week."

They'll probably stay there through next week's visit to Greensboro for the ACC Tournament.

"We're trying to play with a great sense of urgency and a great passion, but I would hope that we would do that, even if a loss meant that we might not get in," Brownell said.

As of Tuesday night, Pittsburgh is 22-8 [10-7 ACC]. The Panthers' RPI is 53.

The strength of schedule is 82.

Against Top 50 RPI teams, Pittsburgh is 1-6.

In their last 10 games, they're 4-6.

Clemson won't be the only team in Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday fighting for a spot on the bubble.

"We're playing for something, a bid, playing for March and making the tournament this year," Harrison said. "That game on Saturday is a big one."

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