It’s been a long time since there’s been an ACC tournament like this.
That’s to say, a tournament where it looked like Clemson had even a prayer of winning. But that seemed to be the case Friday night as the final quarterfinal approached halftime. Clemson was the last team to play at Bobcats Arena, tipping off 33 hours after the tournament started. And the third-seeded Tigers got off to a more impressive start than anybody else.
They scored 19 points in a row after spotting Boston College the first six. Clemson scored 42 of the first 60 points, and shot 18-for-31 from the field in the first half while forcing 13 turnovers.
“Clemson’s had one of those magical years,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Oliver (Purnell) and his kids have played so well. If they’d won some close games, they could have won our league. That’s how good they’ve been.”
Krzyzewski gets the next shot at the Tigers in the semifinals. Duke has the depth and fast-breaking ability to punish Clemson’s full-court press. And the Blue Devils have won seven of the last nine tournaments.
But Clemson has never won. And the chance to make history can be a powerful motivator. – Ken Tysiac
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