Tigers Ranked in Final AP Basketball Poll

Clemson is ranked 22nd in the final Associated Press college basketball poll release on Monday, March 17.

It is the first final top 25 national ranking for the program since the 1996-97 season when the Tigers were 14th in the final AP poll and eighth by USA Today.

Clemson is also ranked 22nd this week by the USA Today Coaches poll. That poll will have its final ranking at the end of the NCAA Tournament. The Associated Press has had its final poll before the NCAA tournament for most of its history.

This is just the fifth time Clemson has finished in the top 25 of at least one of the major men's basketball polls. Clemson was 17th in the UPI Coaches poll in 1974-75, its first top 25 final ranking. Other years Clemson was ranked in the final top 25 were 1986-87, 1989-90 and 1996-97. Clemson's highest final ranking in any poll is eighth by the USA Today Coaches poll in 1996-97 when the Tigers reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Clemson reached the Final Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1980, but no polls were taken at the end of the NCAA Tournament in those days.

Oliver Purnell's Clemson team has a 24-9 record overall and a 10-6 mark in the ACC. The 24 wins rank in a tie for third best in school history, wihle the 10 ACC regular season wins tie the mark also set in 1986-87 and 1989-90.

The Tigers reached the championship game of the ACC Tournament this past weekend with wins over Boston College and Duke. Clemson lost to number-one ranked North Carolina in the championship game, 86-81. Clemson played the Tar Heels close in three games this year, losing once in overtime, once in double overtime and the final game of the ACC Tournament by just five points.

Clemson was a frequent visitor to the top 25 this year. Clemson was ranked in 11 of the 19 Associated Press polls this year, the second most weekly rankings in one season in school history. Clemson was ranked in all 18 weekly AP polls in 1996-97.

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