The Tigers and Jackets meet at mid court for a pre-game handshake.
The Clemson Men’s Basketball team came away with a 45-41 victory over their longtime conference foe, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, on Tuesday night. This was the program’s five hundredth win in Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson’s first win in the arena was also a 4 point victory over the Yellow Jackets in 1968. The Tigers’ success was generated from their guards, as Adonis Filer posted four points and four rebounds in his second start of the season, while Jordan Roper came off the bench to post twelve points, which led the team for the night. The Tigers struggled throughout the game defending Georgia Tech’s big center, Daniel Miller, who had 18 points with 8 rebounds. Once again, star forward KJ McDaniels came through for the Tigers late in the second half, when he forced a Jacket turnover and then finished the play with an alley-oop dunk off of a Rod Hall pass. This put the Tigers up 39-37, and they would never trail again in the game. Inside the final minute, McDaniels blocked Marcus George-Hunt’s layup attempt to help preserve Clemson’s 43-41 lead. Kammeon Hulsey of Georgia Tech attempted another desperation layup, which he missed. Jordan Roper pulled down the rebound for the Tigers and was fouled with 2 seconds left. Roper sunk both free throws to give Clemson the 45-41 win. The victory moves Clemson to 6-3 in the ACC, with a 15-6 overall record. Georgia Tech drops to 12-11, with a 3-7 conference record. The Tigers are tied with Pittsburgh in for the fourth spot in the ACC, but would be the fifth seed in the ACC tournament if the regular season ended today, due to losing the head to head tie breaker with Pitt. Georgia Tech sits in a four way tie for the eleventh spot in the ACC. If conference tournament play started today, they would be the eleventh seed. The Tigers were named one of USA TODAY‘s “First Four Out” for the NCAA Tournament, which means as of now Clemson is just barely below making the cut for the 68 team field. The Tigers have definitely surpassed the media’s preseason prediction that they would finish thirteenth in the ACC. Clemson will look to bolster that NCAA resume with 2 road games up North against two of the ACC newcomers. Sunday, Clemson travels to the Carrier Dome, the sight of Clemson’s 49-14 football victory over Syracuse in October, to face the #1 ranked Orange. They will then turn around and go to South Bend to face Notre Dame.