Tigers Aim for Rare Road Win

The schools are in different states and are not considered to be basketball powerhouses.

WHAT: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech
WHEN: 7 p.m., Wednesday
WHERE: Cassell Coliseum
TV: None

Nonetheless, Clemson and Virginia Tech have turned in epic battles in all three meetings since the Hokies joined the league last season. Without overstating it, fans are witnessing a rivalry brewing in its infantile states.

And why shouldn't these two teams develop one?

Both are considered agriculture schools, both have relatively new head coaches, both are considered to be football schools, and each school desperately wants to taste a bit of success in basketball.

Clemson and Virginia Tech are mirror images of each other and developing a rivalry between the two seems like perfect sense. And besides, when all three games have been decided by two points or less, a rivalry naturally starts to build.

Moreover, in all three games, the outcome has been decided by the Tigers' last shot.

Last season, Clemson missed a shot at the buzzer at Virginia Tech to lose, but made a dramatic one as time expired in the final game of the regular season to get the win and qualify for the NIT.

This season, the Tigers blew a lead and Virginia Tech tied with a three-pointer with second remaining in regulation. Clemson eventually lost in overtime.

Hokies coach Seth Greenberg expects Wednesday night's game to be the same.

"Like every other game against Clemson over the last two years, it will probably come down to a play at the end, for better or for worse," he said.

Both teams are coming off big home wins, and like coaches are supposed to do, Clemson's Oliver Purnell can see problems with that all the way around.

"This kind of (blowout) win (against Virginia) is like a tough loss in a way that you don't want to celebrate it too long or have a hangover from it because now we've got to go on the road to Virginia Tech," he said. "Virginia Tech played on of their best games of the year over the weekend and came away with a big win at home and they've got a little momentum going.

"And from that standpoint, it will be a tough task. This is a team that is very capable and looks right now based on their last game that they've hit their stride. It would be a great win for us to get."

Clemson (16-11 overall, 5-9 ACC)
G 22 Shawan Robinson (6-2, 180) 12.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 197) 9.5 ppg, 3.1 apg
C 33 Akin Akingbala (6-9, 240) 11.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg
F 1 K.C. Rivers (6-5, 210) 7.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg
F 42 Julius Powell (6-7, 208) 5.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg

Virginia Tech (14-13 overall, 4-10 ACC)
G 1 Zabian Dowdell (6-3, 200) 15.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg
G 22 Jamon Gordon (6-3, 200) 11.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg
C 13 Deron Washington (6-7, 195) 10.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg
F 33 Coleman Collins (6-9, 235) 15.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg
F 24 Markus Sailes (6-5, 210) 3.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg

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