Clemson - North Carolina Game Notes

North Carolina holds a 117-19 lead in the series with Clemson and the Tar Heels have won five in a row, including three during their drive to the 2005 National Championship.

Clemson vs. North Carolina Series
• North Carolina won the last meeting that year in the ACC tournament by an 88-81 score, but the Tigers had a 71-58 lead with 9:30 left. The Tar Heels won the last meeting in Chapl Hill last year by 15 points.

•Oliver Purnell is 1-6 in his career against North Carolina, 1-5 as coach at Clemson and 0-1 when he was at Old Dominion. He defeated the Tar Heels and Roy Williams the first time they met as Clemson coach, 81-72 in 2003-04.

•When Clemson won the last meeting of 2002-03 and the first meeting of 2003-04, it was just the third time in history Clemson had won consecutive games from the Tar Heels. It was the first time Clemson had done it since the 1979-80 era. Clemson also won two straight from North Carolina in 1963-64, the only time Clemson has swept North Carolina in the same season. Clemson defeated North Carolina twice in double overtime that season.

•Clemson has defeated North Carolina at Clemson four of the last eight years. The two teams did not play in Clemson last year. They will not meet in Chapel Hill this year. This is the first time since 1983-84 that Clemson has not played in Chapel Hill. That year the two teams had a regular season game in Greensboro.

•Clemson upset a #1 ranked North Carolina team on Feb. 18, 2001, one of two wins over the number-one ranked team in the nation in school history. North Carolina entered the game on an 18-game winning streak. Clemson had lost eight consecutive games. In fact, that win over a #1 ranked North Carolina team was Clemson's only victory that year between January 14 and March 7, 2001. Clemson lost four straight after the win, all by double digits. They entered the game off a 34- point loss to NC State.

•North Carolina holds a 117-19 lead in the series that dates to a 48-24 North Carolina win in Chapel Hill in 1926. Clemson's first win in the series took place in the 1939 Southern Conference Tournament, when the Tigers upset North Carolina behind the late Banks McFadden, 44-43. That was the opening round of the event held in Raleigh.

Clemson's only other win in the series before 1964 took place in Tiger town, 77-69 in 1952. North Carolina won 38 of the first 40 games of the series, including 25 in a row between 1951-52 and 1963-64 seasons. That is the longest losing streak by the Tigers against an ACC team.

•Clemson has defeated North Carolina in consecutive seasons just four times, including as recently as 2002-03 and 2003-04. Clemson also won in back to back years over North Carolina in 1965-66 and 1966-67; 1978- 79 and 1979-80, and 1988-89 and 1989-90. Clemson has never beaten North Carolina in three consecutive seasons.

•Clemson is 15-33 against North Carolina in games played at Clemson, 0-52 in Chapel Hill and 4-32 in games played at neutral sites. While Clemson has never beaten North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the Tigers did have a regular season sweep of North Carolina in 1963-64. That year Clemson won at Clemson and in Charlotte in the North-South Doubleheader.

•Clemson's only win over North Carolina in the ACC tournament took place in 1996 a game played in Greensboro. Clemson overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to win 75-73. Greg Buckner's (now with the Dallas Mavericks) dunk off a pass from Harold Jamison with 0.6 seconds left won the game for Clemson.

•The Tigers are 4-74 against North Carolina in games played in the state of North Carolina. That streak is not long because Clemson won the 1996 ACC Tournament game in Greensboro between the two teams, 75-73.

•The other victories over North Carolina in the Tar Heel state came in 1966- 67, when Clemson beat a #4 UNC team in Charlotte at the North-South Doubleheader by a 92-88 score; in 1963-64 by a 97-90 count, also at the North-South Doubleheader in Charlotte; in 1938-39, in a 44-43 win in Raleigh at the Southern Conference Tournament.

Purnell and Williams Coached together
Oliver Purnell and Roy Williams have experience coaching together. The two head coaches in Wednesday night's game were assistant coaches together on the 2004 United States Olympic team. Williams has a 5-1 advantage in the head to head meetings since they came to the respective schools the same year, 2003-04. Purnell's win was a 81-72 victory in 2003-04, a game in which the Tigers shot a school record 11-13 from three-point range.

Clemson Has 10 Wins over Top 20 Tar Heel Teams in Littlejohn
Clemson has a history of upsetting North Carolina teams in Littlejohn Coliseum. Ten times Clemson has beaten a top 20 North Carolina team in Littlejohn Coliseum, including seven top 10 Tar Heels teams since the building opened for the 1968-69 season. Clemson has more top 20 wins (12) and more top 10 wins (8) over North Carolina than any other school. In fairness to North Carolina, Clemson has had more opportunities to play a ranked North Carolina team than any other school.

Clemson has four wins over North Carolina in Littlejohn Coliseum in the last 8 years and three of those Tar Heel teams were ranked in the top 12 in the nation at the time of the game. That includes the 2004 victory during Oliver Purnell's first year when Clemson won 81-72 behind 11-13 three-point shooting.

Clemson defeated a number-one ranked Tar Heel team, 75-65 on February 18, 2001, one of just two times Clemson has upset the nation's top ranked team. Larry Shyatt's first year Clemson beat a ninth-ranked North Carolina team coached by Bill Guthridge, 78-63.

Twice Clemson has beaten a North Carolina team that was ranked second in the nation. That took place in 1978-79 when Bill Foster was head coach of the Tigers, a 66-61 score, and in 1993-94, Cliff Ellis's last year, when Clemson won 77-69 behind Sharone Wright.

Battle of top 25 Teams in Littlejohn
Clemson and North Carolina are both ranked in the top 25 of both polls this week. This will be the first meeting of top 25 teams in Littlejohn Coliseum since January 13, 1998 when a 24th ranked (USA Today) Clemson team defeated a 17th ranked Florida State team, 86-65.

This will be the first time Clemson and North Carolina have faced off in Littlejohn Coliseum as ranked teams since January 3, 1998. That day a 21st ranked Clemson team lost to a top ranked North Carolina team 73- 70.

Clemson has a 16-7 record in matchups of top 25 teams in Littlejohn Coliseum over the years. The first top 25 meeting took place on February 22,1975 when Skip Wise led Clemson to a 92-70 win over a fourth ranked NC State team. The Tigers were 16th ranked in AP entering that game. It is interesting to note that this will be the sixth time Clemson and North Carolina have met in Littlejohn Coliseum as ranked opponents.

The Tar Heels have a 4-1 record in the previous five games. Another way to look at it is that four of Clemson's seven home losses in battles of top 25 teams have come against the Tar Heels. So, Clemson is 15-3 in matchups of top 25 teams in Littlejohn Coliseum, but 1-4 vs. the Tar Heels.

Clemson's only win over North Carolina at home in a top 25 matchup took place on Janaury 29, 1977, a 93-73 Tiger win that is the largest margin of victory in Clemson history over North Carolina. That was Tree Rollins senior season at Clemson.

Clemson Much Improved on Defense
Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell had an instant answer when the media asked him why the Tigers lost at Maryland on January 13, the first loss of the year for the Tigers. A poor performance on defense was the problem as the Terps shot 62.7 percent from the field, hitting on 32-51 shots from the field. It was the second best field goal percentage by a Clemson opponent since Oliver Purnell became head coach for the 2003-04 season. NC State shot 62.8 percent from the field against the Tigers in January of 2005.

The Tigers are 3-1 in the ACC, but field goal percentage defense has not been a reason for the successful start. Clemson has allowed 55.7 percent shooting in the four ACC games, the worst field goal percentage defense in the ACC. Opponents have made 19-41 three-point shots for 46.3 percent. Clemson has made up for the deficiency in field goal percentage defense with a +29 turnover margin, 11 more steals than the opposition and 26 more offensive rebounds than the opposition in the four games combined.

Rivers on Hot Streak Sophomore wing player K.C. Rivers has been on a hot streak of late, especially from three-point range. The native of Charlotte was 8- 9 on three-point shots last week and has now made exactly four threepoint goals in each of his last three games. He is 12-17 from three-point range over that time.

For the season, Rivers has made 52-116 three-point shots for a .448 percentage. If the season ended today, that would be the fourth best three-point goal percentage in Clemson history if the season ended today, second best among players with at least 50 made three-point goals. The record is a .515 figure by Michael Tait in 1986-87, the first year of the three-point shot.

Rivers has had 18 consecutive double figure scoring games this year, all as a reserve. He is leading the team in scoring with a 15.2 average. Only one non-starter has been the school's leading scorer for a season. That took place last year when Shawan Robinson started just Top Stories