Tigers Host NIT Game

For the second straight season, the Clemson basketball team has received and accepted an invitation into the NIT. This time, however, the Tigers will play their first game at home.

NIT Bracket

No. 4 seed Clemson (18-12) will play host to No. 5 seed Louisiana Tech (20-12) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Littlejohn Coliseum.

"Obviously, we're very pleased to be hosting a first-round NIT game," Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said. "I don't know a lot about Louisiana Tech. Just looking at their stats and their record, I must say I'm very, very impressed."

The Bulldogs won't be a pushover. They have one of the top statistical players in the country in 6-foot-8 junior Paul Millsap, who leads the nation with 13.4 rebounds per game. He also ranks in the top 50 nationally in scoring (19.7), field goal percentage (56.1) and blocked shots per game (2.3).

"They look to be a quality team that could have very easily made the NCAA Tournament," Purnell said. "But they, like a lot of NCAA capable teams, are in the NIT, which is going to make this a tremendous tournament."

Without jumping too far ahead, Clemson stands just three wins shy of reaching the semifinals and a trip to Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Should the Tigers beat La. Tech, up next is a likely meeting at Monday at No. 1 seed Louisville. The Cardinals (18-12) will play Friday against the winner between No. 9 Northern Arizona (21-10) and No. 10 Delaware State (20-13).

The other top seeds in Clemson's bracket are No. 2 Missouri State (20-8), which many experts believe was wrongly snubbed the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee and No. 3 Houston (20-9).

The remaining three seeds in the bracket are No. 6. BYU (20-8), No. 7 Stanford (15-13), and No. 8 Virginia (15-14).

There is a possibility No. 3 South Carolina (18-14) and Clemson could meet in the semifinals.

All tickets will be general admission and will sell for $10. Student tickets are $4. Parking will also be on a first-come, first-serve basis. There's no word yet on whether the game will be televised.

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