Tigers excited about draw

SENECA — When 17th–ranked Clemson saw who it drew in next Thursday's first-round of the NCAA Tournament in Kansas City, a collective holler came from the viewing room underneath Oliver Purnell's Lake Keowee home in Seneca.

It was a joyous yell as the seventh seeded Tigers of the South Region view 10th seeded Michigan as an opportunity to rekindle some of the early season magic that left the team in a late season plunge which included last Thursday's loss to last place Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament.

"It is going to be a fun opportunity and we look forward to it obviously," sophomore guard Terrence Oglesby said. "Michigan is a good team and Coach (John) Beilein is a very good coach and they have some pretty good individuals in Manny Harris and a couple of other guys too."

Besides the big name that the Wolverines (20-14) bring to the table, Oglesby is excited about the way Clemson matches up with them.

"They are a team I think we can speed up," he said. "They are a good team, but it's a different style they play in the Big 10 so if we can speed them up, I think we can have success against them."

Michigan is led by Harris, a guard, who finished second in the Big Ten in scoring at more than 16 points a game. Harris has the ability to light it up from behind the arc, but the sophomore can also put the ball on the floor and get to the basket if need be.

"Michigan is a tough matchup," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "We played John Beilein when he was at West Virginia in the NIT Final a couple of year ago. He has done a fine job there and he plays an awful lot of 1-3-1 zone, but they also mix some man in.

Michigan head coach John Beilein was the head coach at West Virginia when the Mountaineers beat Clemson to win the NIT in 2007. (Getty Images)

"They have good players. I saw them beat a good Duke team, watched them 10 minutes here and there through the course of the year and they play in a very tough league. They have been through that murderous row like we have."

In the frontcourt, Michigan has DeShawn Sims at forward, who ranked in the top five in both scoring (15.7) and rebounding (6.9) in the Big 10. Like Clemson, the Wolverines are not a very big team. Sims stands at 6-foot-8 and is their tallest starter, while Beilein mostly employs a three-guard lineup.

This will be the second time the Tigers (23-8) have faced a Big 10 team. Clemson beat Illinois on the road in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge on Dec. 2.

Under Purnell, the Tigers have won five straight against Big 10 Teams.

The only other teams the two have in common is ACC Tournament Champion Duke and Savannah State.

The Tigers defeated Duke 74-47 on Feb. 4 in their only meeting. Michigan spilt with the Blue Devils during the regular season, while Illinois defeated the Wolverines twice in three meetings, including most recently in the Big 10 Tournament.

Savannah State almost upset Michigan in Ann Arbor on Nov. 29, 69-67, while Clemson beat Savannah State 81-49 on Nov. 25.

Here is a quick glance at Michigan:
Record: 20-14
Head Coach: John Beilein
About: Michigan is making its first tournament appearance since 1998. The Wolverines own non-conference victories over Duke and UCLA, but finished tied for seventh in the Big 10 with a 9-9 conference record. With a small lineup, Michigan relies heavily on three-point shooting and if the shots are not going down they struggle to win games. Guard C.J. Lee is the only senior to start, while a freshman and two sophomores – Harris is one – start alongside Sims, who is a junior.

F DeShawn Sims 6-8/225
F/G Zack Novak 6-5/210
G Stu Douglass, 6-3/175
G Manny Harris 6-5/185
G C.J. Lee 6-0/180

Key Reserves
F Zack Gibson 6-10/220
G Kelvin Grady 5-11/170
G Laval Lucas-Perry 6-3/185

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