Clemson - Louisville Game Notes

The Tigers look to reach 20 wins for the first time since 1999.

* Clemson needs one win to reach the 20-victory mark for the season. Clemson has had just seven 20-win seasons in its history. The previous 20-win season came in 1998-99 when Clemson was 20-15 after reaching the finals of the NIT.

* Clemson has a 1-0 record against Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. The Tigers defeated Pitino's Kentucky team to open the 1996-97 season, 79-71 in overtime in the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis. Kentucky was the defending NCAA Champion and ranked third in the nation entering the game. It is still the highest ranked non-conference team Clemson has defeated in its history.

* Clemson is 0-2 all-time against Louisville. The Cardinals won at Clemson in 1973-74 by a four-point margin, then Louisville won the next season in Freedom Hall, 90-75. Louisville advanced to the Final Four that year.

* Clemson center Akin Akingbala had 16 points and 11 rebounds in Clemson's win over Louisiana Tech in the opening round NIT contest. He out-rebounded NCAA Rebounding leader Paul Millsap of Louisiana Tech by an 11-9 margin even though Millsap played more minutes (32-27). Akingbala had just three double-doubles in his first 94 games at Clemson and now has had seven double-doubles in his last 10 contests.

* Clemson starting forward K.C. Rivers was a teammate of Louisville starting center Brian Johnson last year at Oak Hill Academy. They were two of the reasons Oak Hill was ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today.

* Shawan Robinson has made .911 of his free throws to lead the ACC this season (5th in the nation). J.J. Redick is second at .877. Robinson is trying to become the first Clemson player since 1966-67 to lead the ACC in free throw shooting.

* Clemson has a 11-12 record in the NIT and Louisville is 12-13. This is Clemson's 13th appearance in the event, more than any other ACC team. Oliver Purnell has a 7-6 record in the NIT over his career.

* Clemson's first ever postseason tournament victory took place in the state of Kentucky. In the first round of the 1979 NIT, Clemson upset Kentucky in Rupp Arena by a 68-67 score in overtime.

* Clemson made its last 15 free throws in the victory over Louisiana Tech and made 20-25 for the game.

* The Tigers held Louisiana Tech to 16 points in the first half of the NIT opener, the fewest points allowed in a half since Northwestern had just 15 in the second half of a Tiger win on November 28, 2000.

* Cliff Hammonds had 21 assists and just four turnovers over his last five games. He is fourth in the ACC in assist/turnover ratio. Top Stories