Both teams advanced with home victories on March 14, as the Tigers downed East Tennessee State, while Mississippi defeated Appalachian State. The winner of Monday's game between Clemson and Mississippi will play the winner of Mondays game between San Diego State at Syracuse game. That third round game would be at the home of the highest seeded team still standing. If the No. 1 seeded Tigers gain victory over Mississippi, the Tigers would play host to the winner of the San Diego State vs. Syracuse game on Wednesday, March 21.
Clemson has a 2-1 lead in the series with Mississippi. This
will be the fourth straight meeting between Clemson and Mississippi
in a tournament. Clemson won the first meeting at the Poinsettia
Classic in Greenville, SC in December of 1965 by an 85-57 score.
Clemson won the second meeting at Littlejohn Coliseum in December of
1974 in the first round of the IPTAY Invitational by a 93-80 score.
Mississippi won the most recent meeting in March of 1982 by a 53-49
score. That was an opening round NIT game and it is the last time
Clemson has lost an NIT game at home. Clemson has won each of its
last seven NIT home games.
Clemson enters Monday's game with a 22-10 record, including a
15-0 mark against non-conference teams. It is the most wins by a
Clemson team since the 1996-97 season when the Tigers finished 23-10.
The Tigers are led in scoring by K.C. Rivers, who has a 13.3 scoring
average. He had one of his top games as a Clemson player in the win
over East Tennessee State when he had 17 points and a career high 14
rebounds. It was the first double-double of his career. Trevor
Booker also had a double-double against East Tennessee State with 11
points and 11 rebounds.
This will be Clemson's fourth game against an SEC school this
year. Clemson has a 3-0 record against the league so far this year,
wins over South Carolina, Mississippi State and Georgia. This is
already the first time Clemson has defeated three SEC teams in the
Mississippi comes to Clemson with a 21-12 record, including
an 8-8 mark in the SEC. As far as common opponents are concerned,
Mississippi split two games with Mississippi State, lost at South
Carolina, defeated Appalachian State, and defeated Georgia.
The Rebels are coached by Andy Kennedy, who is in his first
year as the head coach, his second year as a Division I head coach.
Kennedy is a 1991 UAB graduate, but he started his college playing
career at NC State and played two games against Clemson as a
first-year freshman in 1986-87. He also coached against Clemson as
an assistant coach for Cincinnati in December of 2003.
The Rebels are led in scoring by Clarence Sanders, a 6-1
senior guard who averages 16.3 points per game. Bam Doyne is a 6-4
senior who averages 15.2 points per game, while Dwayne Curtis
averages 12 points per game and a team best 8.3 rebounds per game.
Todd Abernethy, who is fourth on the team in scoring at 11.0 points
per game, led the Rebels to their victory over Appalachian State with
18 points. Kenny Williams, a 6-8 forward, added 13 points and 11
Clemson to Meet Mississippi in NIT
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