Waiting on the word

CLEMSON - Brad Brownell has been waiting around since Sunday evening to find out which team Clemson will open ACC Tournament play with on Thursday.

As the 6-seed, Clemson is scheduled to face the winner of 11th-seeded Georgia Tech and 14th-seeded Boston College, which tips off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.

The Tigers will kickoff their postseason around 24 hours after learning who their first opponent is.

"It's a little awkward," Brownell said.

He added, "You're kind of programmed, most of the year, to try to have two days to really lock into somebody and feel like you really get a good preparation."

It's similar type of situation to what they had to deal with in November while playing in the Charleston Classic.

"We didn't know if we were going to play Davidson or Georgia in the second-round. We didn't know if we were going to play UMass or New Mexico or whoever it might have been in the other one," Brownell said. "You're never quite as prepared as you want to be for those kinds of scenarios."

Clemson is 3-0 against Boston College and Georgia Tech this season. Way back on Jan. 4, the Tigers beat the Eagles 62-60 in Chestnut Hill.

"We haven't played Boston College since one of the first games of the year, so it's a little bit different, and they play a different style," Brownell said. "Their style is different than just about anybody in our league, so it's not quite as easy, in some ways, for them."

Clemson played Georgia Tech twice within the span of less than three weeks in February. The Tigers won 45-41 at home and 63-55 18 days later in Atlanta.

"Georgia Tech [is] similar to us in some ways, so there are some things there that you use more frequently. We played them twice, so there's no secret," Brownell said.

Whomever it's against, the Tigers will open conference tournament play confident that they can advance to a Friday showdown with No. 4 seed Duke.

"It's good, from the standpoint that you know you can beat [Georgia Tech or Boston College], you've done that," Brownell said. "But, really, when you start the game, it is 0-0, a neutral court. It's kind of a new lease on life."

That was the approach Clemson took to Greensboro last year after going 5-13 in league play.

"We were struggling, played some good games, played some poor games down the stretch, came out and played a great half against Florida State, one of our better halves of the last month of the season," Brownell said. "When your team hasn't done as well, you're kind of looking for a new lease on life, something new to kind of get you going."

Whichever newly energized opponent Clemson faces will also have one more game in the Greensboro Coliseum than the Tigers.

"Sometimes, there's advantages to the team that plays the night before and has a win. You've made shots in that arena and guys feel good about themselves. Some people like the idea, that it's nice that you don't have to play and you're already in the next round," Brownell said. "It's just tournament basketball. You've got to get yourself ready to go."

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