Tigers get ready to scratch seven-year itch at NCAAs

For the first time since 2011, the Clemson University men’s basketball earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 5 seed and will face the No. 12 seed New Mexico State in San Diego, Calif. on Friday, March 16 at in the first round.

Clemson fans can make ticket requests through ClemsonTigers.com beginning immediately after the show with a deadline of tomorrow (Mon., March 12) at noon. Fans will be notified by 5 p.m. if their order will be fulfilled.

This marks the first time since head coach Brad Brownell’s inaugural season at Clemson that the Tigers have advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will be making their 12th tournament appearance overall. All have taken place since 1980.

Clemson enters the game with a 23-9 record, including an 11-7 mark in regular season ACC games. The 11 victories in conference play proved to be the most in Clemson history – tying the all-time record for wins in any conference. They also won 11 games in the Southern Conference during the 1951-52 season.

A trio of Tigers earned All-ACC postseason accolades when the regular season concluded. Marcquise Reed was named to the All-ACC second-team, Gabe DeVoe earned All-ACC honorable mention, while Elijah Thomas was named to the All-ACC Defensive team.

The Tigers are led in scoring by Reed with a 15.9 average. Reed has posted 11 20-point games this season, including a career-best 28 points in a loss at Virginia Tech (Feb. 21).

Reed leads the team with 1.7 steals per game, which ranks second in the ACC. He is one of just 14 players in the country that is currently averaging at least 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

Five Tigers are averaging double-figures, including senior Donte Grantham who has been out for the season following a knee injury which he suffered in the Tigers’ Jan. 20 win against Notre Dame. This marks the third season in which Clemson has had that many averaging double-figures (2006-07; 2007-08).

Senior Gabe DeVoe is third in scoring this season with a 13.2 average. DeVoe leads Clemson in 3-pointers with 75 this season – just five away from tying for 10th all-time for a single season in Clemson history. His 158 career threes places him into the top 10 in Clemson history.

The first Clemson Tiger from the state of Texas, junior Elijah Thomas, is nearly averaging a double-double with 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He leads the team in blocks with 71 (2.2 per game). He ranks fourth in total blocks in the ACC and fifth in blocks per game, while he is 27th in the country in both categories.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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