Thursday's ACC Tournament Notebook

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Entering the three games against Maryland this season, Clemson has been the underdog. And ironically enough, the Tigers won all three, the latest of which came in the form of a 84-72 victory in the first round of the ACC Tournament Thursday at the MCI Center. <br>

And that begs the question if the two teams were somehow to meet for a fourth time this season, would Clemson finally get some recognition and be the favored team for once.

"I would hope so," Tigers center Sharrod Ford said. "If they don't respect us after three times, I don't know what we'd have to do to get their respect."

Clemson coach Oliver Purnell agreed with his senior that the Tigers should be the favorite.

"I think our guys showed clearly that they were the better team," he said.

When the Tigers face No. 1 seed North Carolina at noon on Friday, they will be looking to accomplish something that no Clemson team has done since 1962.

That was the only time in the Tigers' basketball history that it has won two games in the ACC Tournament. Clemson lost to Wake Forest in the finals.

The Tigers are already doing better that nearly all of the previous Clemson teams in the tournament.

In Clemson's previous 24 trips to the ACC Tournament, it had lost its opening game 18 times.

The Miami basketball team came within seconds of possibly not participating in the tournament at all. In fact, the entire tournament was in seconds of possibly not even occurring.

The Hurricanes flew into town Tuesday afternoon, but on their plane's approach into Regan National Airport, it encountered some severe weather problems.

While trying to land, extreme gusts of wind tossed the plane from side to side. It was so bad that the pilot had to ditch the first attempted landing. Then on the second attempted landing, that's when things got really hairy.

Just as the plane was roughly 50 feet from touching the ground, another huge burst of wind pushed the plane sideways, which meant it was in no position to land. So rather than attempting a landing that likely would have resulted in a crash, the pilot hit the thrusters and sent the plane back into the air.

The plane then flew some 30 miles to Dulles International Airport to land. But when it was finally on the ground, there was no gate for the plane to go to since it was at the wrong airport. Thus, the team had to sit on the runway in the plane for nearly an hour.

After refueling, the captain announced that the plane was going to fly back to Regan, but the team wanted no part of it. They got off the plane and took a bus to their hotel. The only problem was all their luggage was still on the plane, which flew back to Regan.

A couple of team managers drove to Regan to pick up the luggage and returned it to the hotel, bringing to an end of a very trying ordeal.

Even though the game against Maryland was roughly 15 miles from the Terrapins' campus and the crowd in attendance was decidedly behind the hometown team, it didn't seem to matter to Clemson freshman forward Sam Perry.

After the Tigers erased a 10-point deficit and grabbed a 17-16 lead with 10:53 left in the opening half, Perry waved both arms in the air trying to ignite the 300 or so Clemson fans in the arena. …

Clemson senior forward Sharrod Ford scored a combined 49 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked 11 shots in the first two games against the Terrapins. Thursday, six points on 1-of-7 shooting, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. … The first time he touched the ball Thursday came at the 15:50 mark of the first half. His first shot came at 9:11, which he missed. …

There was a military theme in Clemson's game as two Army personnel yelled, "Go, Tigers!" on the video board prior to the start of the game. The two more Army personnel shouted the same thing for the Terps. On one backboard there was a small flag in the lower right corner, while on the other backboard there was a yellow ribbon in the lower left corner. Top Stories