#1 UNC vs #3 Clemson

What: ACC Championship
Where: Bobcat Arena, Charlotte, NC
When: Sunday, March 16th, 1 PM
Records: UNC 31-2, 16-2 ACC; Clemson 24-8, 12-6 ACC

Triple overtime anyone?

First of all, some meaningless stats.

  • Through Saturday UNC is 41-11 as the #1 seed
  • Against Clemson UNC is 13-1 in the ACC Tournament and 62-1 in the state of North Carolina.
  • The Heels are 6-5 in title games as a #1 seed.
  • UNC is 9-4 versus the #3 seed in the ACC Tournament
  • UNC is 20-7 in ACC Tournament games played in Charlotte
  • Clemson has not been in an ACC Tournament final since 1962.

Not that any of those numbers mean anything, interesting nonetheless.

I agree with everyone who has said that Clemson is not a team UNC wanted to see again. However I would submit that Clemson beating Duke(along with UT losing) is more beneficial to the bigger picture. UNC is likely locked in the #1 seed in the East with the Raleigh-Charlotte path to the Final Four. Winning or losing this game will have little impact since attrition had left the committee with four clear choices for top seeds in each of the four regionals. That being said, I still want another ACC title. I also would love to beat Clemson straight up without any complaints about how they almost beat the Heels or griping the refs screwed them over.

The general feel out there is that Clemson is playing so well and UNC was “lucky” the first and second time these two teams played. There is an overall vibe that this is not your father’s Clemson team and there is an actual belief that the Tigers can win the ACC Championship. The fact they came oh so close to winning in Chapel Hill lends hope to the idea that Clemson has turned that age old corner and is ready to win. UNC squeak two wins out in which they were trailing and would have lost had they been given to just rolling over.

On the other hand, Clemson needs to be wary of potential opposite effect. There are times when people are so sure of a certain result based on merit filled arguments that we call get surprised by something quite the opposite happening. So in this case where folks expect a close game and Clemson finding a way to pull off the big win, you could just as easily end up with a game where UNC controls the whole operation. In other words it is a crapshoot and anything could happen.

Clemson matches up with UNC at almost every spot. Their press is fairly tough to break and they have the required interior strength to throw Hansbrough out of sync. If Lawson were at 100% I would expect him to step up and gets some easy buckets. However he is not but the combo of QT and Lawson has been effective enough, the question is how will it work against a team that can play defense for 94 feet. UNC also needs Green/Ellington to make shots and not wait for the last three minutes to do it. Controlling the boards however will be the stiffest challenge, particularly when limiting second chance points.

The only other question is to what extent does the experience on the Tar Heel squad, especially in a game like this, matter. All of these players won a title last season and understand what it means to play and win in a loser go home game. How will Clemson players handle not only the prospect of winning the ACC but trying to end so many decades of frustration? It seemed like it weighed on them a bit in the game at Chapel Hill when they were very close to ending The Streak. It will be interesting to see if it comes into play here and if so can UNC take advantage of having been here before which can be a tremendous psychological edge.

If this game is played anywhere close to the way the other two UNC games were played it should be a fun and cardiac issues inducing, all at the same time.

UNC 82 Clemson 80


30 Responses to #1 UNC vs #3 Clemson

  1. uncgirl50 says:

    I agree completly. This is the game I am most nervous about. Thanks for beating dook but Clemson, please don’t beat us. I think our guys are really excited and ready to play and make up for their poor preformance yesterday. GO HEELS!

  2. I generally agree with just about everything you say, but I have to take issue with UNC automatically being the #1 seed in the Raleigh/Charlotte regional if they lose.
    A loss between, say, 4-10 points would not have a lot of bearing with the committee,
    Now, I think if Clemson is completely *on* today and blows the Heels out of the gym, then I think there might be an inclination to put the Heels in another region and give Memphis, or even Tennessee, the more favorable Raleigh/Charlotte path.
    Just my opinion…………..

  3. C. Michael says:

    Andy, Memphis’ most favored region is the South. They are no threat. Texas/Kansas gets the Midwest.

  4. Santiago says:

    THF, an 82-80 prediction, huh? So, are you thinking Psycho T will “dance” 2 days in a row? 😉

    Let’s hope CU hit all their clutch FTs yesterday and will revert to form today.

  5. keithunc says:

    I think we (UNC) has locked up the Charlotte regional. Making the championship game is the key because, well Dookies and Tennessee lost early in their conference tourny. As for the game today I like always want a UNC victory but Clemson has given us a heck of a time the last two games. I do love the resilience of this years team. GO HEELS and GOOD LUCK.

  6. MDTarheel says:

    I am not to worried about losing this game today, as long as we don’t get blown out. If we play well and clemson has a great game to win, thats okay. I never want to lose, especially a championship game, but I will not be upset if Clemson wins by playing a great game. I agreed with others, UNC is now a lock for a number one seed in Raleigh.Go Heels.

  7. TxTarheel says:

    Who in the heck is posting here about getting possibly blown out? I’d prefer to keep those thoughts to yourself, IMHO. I think today will be close, and interesting to see if Clemson’s nerves don’t get the best of them as this is uncommon territory for the Tigers.

    Would appear that the Midwest is the only # 1 seed to be determined & that based on who wins the Big 12.

  8. Adam in Chicago says:

    Whatever happened to the live blogging?

  9. Schwartzy says:

    Thank goodness the weather’s nice today.

  10. 52BigGameJames says:

    Ellington is becoming the player we all hoped he would be. Often overlooked is his adroit passing. Clemson’s press is making for easy baskets when we handle it right.

  11. 52BigGameJames says:

    Marcus could have prevented Booker’s block if he went up with a jam intention.

  12. Santiago says:

    Was that a 10 second violation by CU w/o being guarded at all? Now that’s your father’s Clemson.

  13. TxTarheel says:

    If I’m an opposing coach seeded in UNC’s bracket, I watch tape of this game to see how Clemson pressures the ball…not having Frasor really shows up in games like this one

  14. Has anybody seen Ty Lawson? I thought he was starting today.

    The guy out there wearing his uniform looks lethargic and out of sync.

  15. Chris Tutino says:

    I expect to see us breaking the press for fast break points and Clemson shooting about 10% from the line this half.


  16. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I am watching the game at a friend’s house and keeping an eye on my kids so liveblogging is out.

  17. TxTarheel says:

    Green with the put-back !! great effort on that sequence

  18. Chris Tutino says:

    I gotta say that Tyler is just really good on both offense and defense. I’m glad to see that our intensity is really high right now – going after loose balls hardcore and looking very fast. Lawson’s zig-zag break away was great to see although he is definitely still favoring the ankle.

  19. 52BigGameJames says:

    is Marcus Ginyard aware that the dunk is legal? I really want to know.

  20. 52BigGameJames says:

    Clemson going zone.

  21. TxTarheel says:

    Danny from down-town !! big shot

  22. 52BigGameJames says:

    so much for the zone. dadadadada da da da “zone-buster’s’

  23. 52BigGameJames says:

    if they blow this, it will be a good learning experience.

  24. TxTarheel says:

    take care of the rock & knock down some FT…and don’t leave Rivers with open looks either

  25. TxTarheel says:

    UNC up 84-77 with 25 seconds left….Clemson gets the ball. Oglesby or Rivers start chukcing up 3 – point attemps

  26. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Up seven with 25 seconds left should do it.

  27. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Maybe I should not have written that.

  28. TxTarheel says:

    Roy cannot be happy with these late game induced fouls by UNC…do not stop the clock for your opponent !

  29. TxTarheel says:

    and again with a bad foul…good grief these last 25 seconds are taking forever to finish

    Ginyard with the key steal that likely sealed it though

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