Previewing Clemson

North Carolina's ACC Tournament semifinal opponent on Saturday is Clemson, which routed Boston College in the quarterfinals. The Tar Heels beat the Tigers in their two prior meetings this season.

North Carolina (25-6, 14-2) vs. Clemson (21-10, 9-7)
Greensboro, N.C. -- Greensboro Coliseum
Saturday - 1:00pm -- ESPN/Raycom


"In terms of the NCAA, I don't know, but I would think we made a pretty good showing today. We beat another very good team, and we beat them well. Now, we're going to try and take on one of the top teams in the country, and give them a good game and see if we can't find a way to win." – Clemson head coach Brad Brownell on his team's NCAA Tournament chances

"It's exciting – the pageantry, the tradition, the history. I've known about it and watched and having lived in North Carolina for 12 years, you're inundated with it. It's great to be a part of it, especially when our team plays the way it did today. I was very proud of them, and this was a good day and a great experience." – Brownell on the ACC Tournament


Season to Date: Clemson enters Saturday's ACC semifinal with a 21-10 (9-7 ACC) record. The Tigers have won four of their last five games, with the only loss coming at Duke (70-59) on Mar. 2. Brad Brownell ranks third among all Division I first-year head coaches with 21 wins on the season.

Quarterfinal Highlights: Demontez Stitt (20 points, 8 rebs, 4 asts) directed fourth-seeded Clemson to a 70-47 victory over fifth-seeded Boston College on Friday. The Tigers quickly built a 13-1 lead less than seven minutes in, but Boston College battled back to cut its deficit to 19-14. Clemson took a 33-25 advantage into halftime and then scored the first eight points of the second half. The Eagles were never able to get back within single digits. Stitt's 20 points marked the ninth-straight game that he has scored at least 14 points.

Regular Season Accolades: Stitt was tabbed as a third-team All-ACC player and senior forward Jerai Grant earned honorable mention honors by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association on Monday. Stitt, a senior guard from Matthews, N.C., leads Clemson with 14.3 points per game while dishing out 3.3 assists and pulling down 4.5 rebounds per game. Grant was also named to the All-ACC Defensive Team after averaging 12.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest. Junior guard Tanner Smith also earned All-ACC Academic Team honors for the third straight season.

Third Time's a Charm? There's no doubt that Grant has been a integral part of Clemson's success this season, but he failed to show up in the previous two meetings with North Carolina this season. The Bowie, Md. product's two worst showings of the year were against John Henson and the Tar Heels, scoring just two points on 1-of-15 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Henson blocked all three of Grant's field goal attempts at Clemson on Feb. 12.

Getting Defensive: Clemson finished the regular season ranked second in scoring defense (62.6) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (32.1) and fourth in field goal percentage defense (40.1) in ACC games. The Tigers have tightened the defensive screws even more over their past five games, holding their opponents to a combined 35.8 percent shooting (100-of-279).

The Third Wheel: Junior guard Andre Young has stepped up this season as a third scoring option for the Tigers. The Albany, Ga. native is averaging 10.7 points and 3.0 assists per contest. Young ranks fifth in Clemson history in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.96 mark (235-120) and is one of only 11 Tigers to amass 100 career 3-pointers (160), assists (235) and steals (126).

Random Fact of the Day: Brownell owns a 16-5 all-time record in conference tournaments. At both of his previous stops, UNC Wilmington and Wright State, his teams won the conference tournament in his first year.

Head-to-Head Season Results: UNC defeated Clemson, 75-65, at the Smith Center on Jan. 18, improving its all-time home record against the Tigers to a NCAA record 55-0. The Tar Heels beat the Tigers a second time on Feb. 12, needing late game heroics from Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes to notch a 64-62 victory at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Clemson, 124-20. The Tar Heels have won 12 of the last 13 meetings and 36 of the last 43. UNC owns a 14-1 all-time record against the Tigers in the ACC Tournament.

Projected Starters:
11 Andre Young (5-9, 175, Jr.) - 10.7 ppg, 3.0 apg
2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 180, Sr.) - 14.3 ppg, 3.3 apg
5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 205, Jr.) - 7.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg
31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245, So.) - 7.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg
45 Jerai Grant (6-8, 230, Sr.) - 12.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.5 bpg

Top Reserves:
24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225, So.) - 8.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg
21 Bryan Narcisse (6-6, 220, Jr.) - 3.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg
12 Cory Stanton (5-10, 175, Fr.) - 2.5 ppg, 0.7 apg
3 Zavier Anderson (5-9, 170, Sr.) - 1.4 ppg, 1.3 apg

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