Clemson Claws UAB To Advance
Jerai Grant's career best 22 point effort led the fast paced Clemson Tigers to an NCAA tournament victory over UAB by the score of 70-52. The win marked Clemson's first NCAA tournament victory since 1997. Here is more from the AP and espn.com.
In a matchup of No. 12 seeds, part of the expanded tournament's new look, the Tigers (22-11) went on a 21-2 run in the first half and never let the big lead slip away, as they had in several recent games.
Clemson hurried out after its first NCAA tournament victory in 14 years to catch a flight to a second-round game against fifth-seeded West Virginia (20-11) on Thursday afternoon in Tampa, Fla.Milton Jennings added 11 points and Tanner Smith and Devin Booker each had 10 for Clemson, picked to finish seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Jamarr Sanders had 19 and Dexter Fields 12 for UAB, regular-season champions of Conference USA.
Without the addition of 3 more so called "play-in" games to this year's tournament, Clemson would have been hosting an NIT game on Tuesday night. Instead, after their dominant win, they caught a flight to Tampa to play West Virginia on Thursday in a 12 vs. 5 matchup on the unofficial opening day of the NCAA tournament.
UAB's weak performance certainly gives VA Tech, Colorado, Alabama, Harvard, and a few other bubble teams more reason to gripe about why they should have been selected over the Blazers.