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
•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
•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
•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
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
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-
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
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
Clemson - North Carolina Game Notes
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