Cameron Crazies Await Clemson

After a refreshing 69-67 home win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets last Wednesday, the Clemson Tigers will now venture in Cameron Indoor Stadium to battle the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils. An upset win would certainly go a long way in solidifying chances at securing a post season tournament berth.

At the midpoint of the 2003 ACC Regular Season, the Tigers find themselves in familiar territory. Clemson jumped out of the gates to an impressive 11-0 record, only to stumble in 6 of their next 8 games.

That's life in the ACC, and unfortunately it's not going to get any easier.

Sunday night the Tigers will travel to Durham, North Carolina to face the 9th ranked Duke Blue Devils on Fox Sports South.

Duke has dominated the series between these two schools, especially at home where they own an incredible 49-4 record against the Tigers. The Blue Devils have also won 14 consecutive meetings dating back to the 1996 season.

Clemson opened the ACC regular season with a 89-71 loss to Duke back on January 5th. The Blue Devils made seven of their first 10 shots to open the second half in that game, turning a highly contested game into an easy 18 point victory.

Last season, Clemson lost in Durham by 16 points, despite trailing by just 6 at halftime. Chey Christie put together an impressive performance that evening by scoring 21-points and Chris Hobbs added 25 in the loss.

If the Tigers are going to have any success Sunday evening, they'll have to defend the three-point arc better and keep the Blue Devils' fast break in check.

"We kind of got into their style of playing last time out, which is real easy to do," said Ed Scott. "We can't do that on Sunday up there."

The Blue Devils drilled 11-of-23 from 3-point range earlier this year against the Tigers, and shot over 51% for the game from the field.

Duke is averaging 85.6 points per game this season, which is second in the nation as of February 6th. Dahntay Jones and freshman J.J. Reddick lead the team in scoring at 17 and 16 points a game respectively.

Ed Scott leads the Tigers in scoring at 16.1 points per game, and Sharrod Ford continues to lead the Tigers on the boards, averaging 7.4 rebounds per contest.

FOX Sports Net will televise the game to a national audience with Thom Brennaman (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (color) and Dwayne Ballen (sideline) calling the action. Tip off is set for 6:47 PM.

Other Notes
* Duke has won 65 of its last 70 games vs. unranked opponents, even though they've lost two games this year to teams not ranked in the top 25 in Florida State and N.C. State. Duke has won 129 of its last 135 games overall versus unranked opponents.

* Duke enters the Clemson game with a 24-game home winning streak intact dating back to the beginning of last season. The 2001-02 campaign in which Duke finished 13-0 at home marked the 13th time in school history the Blue Devils did not lose at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
* Duke has won at least 12 regular season games in the ACC for six consecutive seasons, becoming the first team in league history to accomplish that standard of excellence. To illustrate how difficult this is to achieve, the longest stretch of 10 or more victories in succession in ACC history was seven straight years by North Carolina from 1993-99.

* This will mark the 120th meeting between Duke and Clemson with the Blue Devils holding a 92-27 series advantage. Duke's .773 winning percentage vs. Clemson is its second-best vs. any ACC opponent (Duke has a .833 overall winning percentage vs. Florida State).

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