Previewing Clemson

After their two regular season matchups both went into overtime, North Carolina and Clemson will play again -- this time for the ACC Tournament Championship. Sunday's tip-off time is set for 1 p.m. and will be televised by Raycom and ESPN.

North Carolina (31-2, 14-2) vs. Clemson (24-8, 10-6)
Charlotte, N.C. -- Bobcats Arena
1 p.m., RLF/ESPN


"We're very excited to get a third shot at [UNC]. The last two games we had a lead going into the end and we couldn't pull out the [win]. We're going to go into tomorrow preaching to finish the job, and working with a hard hat, and playing for 40 minutes." – Clemson guard Cliff Hammonds


Season to Date: Clemson enters Sunday's ACC Tournament Championship game with a 24-8 overall record. The third-seeded Tigers upset No. 2 seed Duke, 78-74, in semifinal action on Saturday, marking the program's first win in its last 10 trips to the conference semifinals. Clemson has won seven of their last nine games since their last loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Feb. 10th.

Semifinal Standouts: Duke is known for its lack of a true post presence, and the Tigers capitalized down low, as Trevor Booker and James Mays combined for 34 points on 14-of-18 shooting. Cliff Hammonds contributed 17 points (5-of-8, 3-of-6 from 3-point range) from the perimeter.

Odd Fact: Clemson is the only ACC charter member to have never won the conference championship. The Tigers have won just one postseason tournament in its history, the 1939 Southern Conference Tournament in Raleigh. Clemson defeated North Carolina, Wake Forest, Davidson and Maryland in four consecutive days. Clemson did not lead at halftime in any of those four games. It remains the only time Clemson has won four games in four days in school history.

Skip Prosser Award: Clemson senior guard Cliff Hammonds has been named the recipient of the inaugural 2008 "Skip" Prosser Award, emblematic of the top scholar-athlete in men's basketball. He is a three-time member of the All-ACC Academic Basketball team and a 2008 First-Team Academic All-District III by CoSIDA, as well as being one of only five players in ACC history with at least 1,400 points, 400 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals in his career.

Previous Matchup Results:
GAME 1 – Wayne Ellington hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining in overtime to give North Carolina a 90-88 win at then-No. 19 Clemson to open ACC play for both teams on Jan. 6, 2008. Ellington set career highs in points (36), field goals made (11), free throws made (nine) and 3-pointers (five). The 36 points are the most scored by a UNC guard since Joseph Forte had 38 against Tulsa on Nov. 11, 2000.
GAME 2 – North Carolina defeated Clemson, 103-93 (2OT), in Chapel Hill on Feb. 10, 2008. The Tar Heels overcame a 15-point deficit with 8:55 remaining in regulation behind Tyler Hansbrough's 39 points and 13 rebounds, while Wayne Ellington contributed 28 in the comeback effort.

Series History: North Carolina holds a 120-19 all-time edge over Clemson, dating back to the 1925-26 season. The Tar Heels are 53-0 all-time at home against the Tigers, tied for the longest home winning streak over an opponent in NCAA history. North Carolina has won the last eight meetings between the two programs.

Projected Starters:
25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 200, Sr.) - 11.5 ppg, 4.0 apg
 1 KC Rivers (6-5, 215, Jr.) – 14.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg
32 Sam Perry (6-5, 215, Sr.) – 3.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg
40 James Mays (6-9, 230, Sr.) - 10.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg
35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 240, So.) – 10.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg

22 Terrence Oglesby (6-2, 185, Fr.) – 10.5 ppg
 2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 170, Fr.) – 8.8 ppg, 3.1 apg
15 David Potter (6-6, 205, So.) – 5.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg
12 Raymond Sykes (6-9, 220, Jr.) – 4.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg
45 Jerai Grant (6-8, 215, Fr.) – 2.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg

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