Clemson cake-walks past Auburn to Sweet Sixteen

Gabe DeVoe scored 22 points and Elijah Thomas added 18 points and 11 rebounds, as No. 5 seed Clemson defeated No. 4 seed Auburn 84-53 in dominating fashion on Sunday at Viejas Arena.

The victory sends Clemson to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997. The 31-point victory margin was the largest for Clemson in an NCAA Tournament game and the largest for the Tigers in any game against a top-25 team. Auburn was ranked No. 19 in the AP poll entering the tournament.

“I told the team before we started here that we had just played 20 games against teams in a great league,” said Tiger head coach Brad Brownell. “I thought we were prepared for anything based on what we had done.

“The team was bouncing off the ceiling to play before the first game (against New Mexico State), but today there was a calm about them in the locker room. We were focused from the beginning, and after we made some corrections in defensive rebounding, we were in good shape.”

The previous record for victory margin by the Tigers against a top-20 team was 27 in a 74-47 win over Duke on Feb. 4, 2009.

DeVoe scored 22 points in each of the two games in San Diego and has eight games of 20+ points this year, including seven in his last 14. He became the first Tiger to have consecutive 20-point games in one NCAA Tournament since Elden Campbell in 1989.

DeVoe made 6-9 three-point attempts, a record for made threes by a Tiger in an NCAA Tournament game.

Clemson advances to face Kansas in Omaha, Neb., on Friday at 7:07 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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