Strong run on the line against State

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Knock on wood, Clemson nation. No player on Clemson's current roster has ever lost to N.C. State.

The Tigers are 5-0 against the Wolfpack in the last five meetings on the hardwood.

On Jan. 29, 2006, No. 15 N.C. State fended off an upset bid by Clemson, winning the 94-85 on the road, in overtime.

Back then, Trevor Booker was on his way to being named the South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year at Union High School while David Potter was wrapping up a his third and final season at Bradenton Academy in Florida.

Neither of the seniors, who make up the winningest class in school history, are penciling No. 6 seed Clemson (21-9) past No. 11 seed N.C. State (17-14) in Thursday night's opening round finale of the ACC Tournament.

"Just because we haven't lost to them, it doesn't mean we can't lose to them," Booker said. "I never beat UNC until this year, so they're capable of beating us if we don't bring our game."

Nearly two months after extending it to five games with a 73-70 win in Raleigh, coach Oliver Purnell hasn't spent any time discussing the streak with his team.

"Anytime you beat a team earlier and they finish below you in the standings, there's a danger for you to look past them," Purnell said. "We definitely talked about that."

Potter echoes the message his coach has been preaching all week.

"We're just going to approach this game like everybody is 0-0. They're a hungry team, but we've just got to come in focused," he said.

Besides, he wasn't even aware that he hadn't lost to N.C. State. There's only one team that he's been sure to keep a running count on over his career."

"I kept track of South Carolina, just because that's a big rivalry. But I haven't kept track with N.C. State," Potter said. "That's a good accomplishment, though."

With a win Thursday, Clemson advance to Friday's quarterfinal round to play No. 3 seed Florida State at 9 p.m. The streak against N.C. State would match a school record for the longest winning streak against an ACC opponent. From 1992-93 to 1994-95, Clemson beat N.C. State six times in a row. Top Stories