Top 10 Notre Dame comes to town tonight

Clemson battles No. 10 Notre Dame this evening at 7 PM.

WHAT: Clemson (14-9, 6-5 ACC) vs. #10 Notre Dame (21-4, 9-3 ACC)
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 10 (7:01 PM)
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000) TV: ESPN2 (Tom Hart-pbp; Sean Farnham-color)
SPREAD: Notre Dame -3.5

In what could best be described as a game featuring two teams with contrasting styles, the 10th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish invade Littlejohn Coliseum for the first time ever to face the Clemson Tigers Tuesday night.

Tuesday’s game features the ACC’s second-best scoring offense with the Irish, against the second-best scoring defense with the Tigers.

"It's a big one," Clemson head coach Brad Brownell tells CUTigers. "It's a quick turn around once again for us having just played Miami Sunday night so we can't really practice or do too much between now and then, but it certainly is an opportunity with a top 10 team coming here."

It's a major opportunity indeed- especially when you consider Notre Dame is the last ranked team on Clemson's home schedule this season. With the Tigers just on the outside looking in of the latest NCAA Tournament projections from ESPN, a win Tuesday night keeps the Tigers in contention, while a loss would prove to be difficult to overcome.

Brownell says it feels good to be in the postseason conversation, but it's not a focus of the team.

"We won't mention it to our guys," he said. "But its good PR that we are a part of the discussion at this point in the season. Obviously not a lot of people thought we would even get to this to point, so we are under the radar a bit. But it's good that have positioned ourselves to have a chance."

Both teams are coming off road losses entering tonight's game - Clemson fell at Miami Sunday night 56-45 while Notre Dame was blown out at No. 4 Duke by 30 points.

The the blowout in Durham was Notre Dame's largest loss since 1999.

"Their last two losses on the road are a bit skewed because Duke and Pittsburgh both shot right around 60 percent," Brownell said. "So this probably isn't one of those games where we can't grind it out and win it. We are going to have to hit some shots."

The Tigers have seen an uptick on offense since inserting Jordan Roper into the starting line three weeks ago. Roper will be critical again tonight, but the Tigers also need more production from Jaron Blossomgame and Rod Hall too. The duo combined for just 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting in Sunday night's loss at Miami.

Notre Dame is led by a trio of explosive players in Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton and Zach Auguste. The three combine to average 44.5 points per game.

Grant is the younger brother of former Clemson star Jarai Grant.

The Tigers are in search of its first win at home over a top-10 ranked team since Feb. 4, 2009, when Clemson beat Duke by a 74-47 score.

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