Day & Time: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 2 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Streaming: ACC Network (check your local affiliate)/ACC Network Extra
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Clemson blog: Shakin’ the Southland
Rivalry: 2-4, Clemson (wut)
Current Streak: 1, Orange
First Meeting: A pretty bad (4-19) Syracuse team tipped off the 1960-61 season against Clemson, and proceeded to lose, 78-67. Pete Chudy led the way with 19 points. Afterward, Tigers fans in attendance starting complaining about football #DISRESPECK and how their shade of orange was superior.
Last Meeting: Tyus Battle had been pretty quiet all game last February (just three points before the final buzzer sounded), and seemed unlikely to be a hero as Syracuse found themselves down 81-79 on the road. But in the waning seconds, he put up a dagger three to down the Tigers and add to what was a growing legend of buzzer beaters for the Orange in 2017. It was the second-most satisfying win over Clemson in the last calendar year
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (42nd year, 1,022-369); Clemson: Brad Brownell (8th year, 146-110)
Coach Bio: Brownell wrapped up his playing career at DePauw, then jumped into coaching as an assistant at Evansville. He went from there to Indianapolis, then UNC-Wilmington. After eight years as an assistant with the Seahawks, he got the head job in 2002. Two Colonial Athletic titles in four years led him to Wright State. Brownell made the NCAAs in year one, then fell short for three straight seasons after. Clemson grabbed him from there, and since he arrived, he’s made just one NCAA Tournament (2011) -- though has only had a losing record once.
Last Year: Clemson started strong enough, playing Xavier close, and beating eventual Final Four participant South Carolina in non-conference play. But the ACC schedule hurt the Tigers, and they staggered to a 6-12 record in league play. The Tigers went 1-1 in the conference tournament, then lost to Oakland as a 2-seed in the NIT.
Last Game: FSU got within three at halftime the other night, but Clemson managed to pull away in the second half, grabbing a 76-63 win. Marcquise Reed led the way with 22 points, adding five boards and seven assists as well. Three other Tigers hit double figures for a pretty balanced attack. And while Clemson only hit 40 percent of their shots from the floor, they were 20-of-26 from the line.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Reed’s your top scorer, and in Donte Grantham’s absence (since January, he’s been out for the season), he’s Clemson’s top bet on the offensive end. He averaged 16 points per game, with nearly five rebounds and 3.5 assists. Reed has scored 20 points or more in three of the last five games, including a big 28 points (though on 24 shots) against Virginia Tech.
Jack Ferguson Memorial Random Three-Point Performance: We don’t have a lot of options here because the Tigers have a bench that’s just slightly deeper than Syracuse’s. But Mark Donnal is the most clearly problematic of the non-starters. The Michigan transfer is 18-of-35 from three this year, and I can see the outside shots raining down already.
If Syracuse Wins: There’s a lot more work to do, but beating the Tigers would be a nice marquee win for the Orange resume and make us sleep a little easier until the ACC Tournament at least. Still need more wins, of course. But it’s a start.
If Syracuse Loses: Nothing changes. We’re out.
Fun Fact No. 1: Clemson never made the NCAA Tournament before 1980, which is stunning to hear, even for a school that’s traditionally been focused on football. That was also the only time the Tigers made it to the Elite 8. Syracuse has made seven since then.
Fun Fact No. 2: Nothing about basketball here. Just enjoy a clip from the time the Orange upset Clemson football at the Carrier Dome. It was fun, as you’ll recall.