The Clemson men’s basketball team earned an at-large bid as a No. 1 seed into the 2023 National Invitation Tournament and will face Morehead State in Littlejohn Coliseum for the first round. The game will be played on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
The Tigers earned the invite to be in the NIT after learning they were one of the first four not to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Fellow ACC member UNC turned down its invitation to play in the NIT. The Tar Heels, like Clemson, were one of the first four out of NCAA Tournament Selection Committee’s consideration.
Clemson failed to receive an NCAA Tournament invite despite going 23-10 overall and finishing third in the ACC standings with a 14-6 conference record. The Tigers are the first ACC team to finish third in the league and not receive an NCAA Tournament bid since the same happened to Virginia in 2000.
That is the only other time since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 40 teams in 1979 that a third place team from the ACC did not get an invite. The Tigers also advanced to the ACC Tournament’s semifinals this past week before losing to runner-up Virginia.
Duke earned the ACC’s automatic bid by winning the conference tournament on Saturday. Virginia, regular-season champion Miami, Pittsburgh and NC State were extended at-large bids.
Clemson beat the Wolfpack three times this season, including a 26-point win in the ACC Tournament, while they also beat Pitt in Pittsburgh. The Tigers also had a win over the Blue Devils.
This will be Clemson’s 18th appearance in the NIT and the Tigers hold a 19-17 overall record in the event. Clemson has made the NIT Final Four three times, including the championship game twice.
Clemson enters the NIT with a 23-10 record, including a record-breaking 14 wins in the ACC (14-6) during the regular season. The 14 victories were the most in program history, while the win percentage is third best.
Hunter Tyson and PJ Hall earned All-ACC postseason accolades when the regular season concluded. Tyson was named to the All-ACC First Team and Hall was named to the Third Team. Tyson also earned the prestigious ACC Skip Prosser Scholar Athlete Award – the second Tiger to receive it over the last three seasons (Aamir Simms, 2021).
The Tigers are led in scoring (15.5) and rebounding (9.5) by Tyson. He has 16 double-doubles this season – tied for fifth all-time for a single season in program history. He set career highs in points (31) and rebounds (15) in a win over NC State, while also twice earning ACC Player of the Week honors.
Tyson became the 44th player in Clemson history to amass 1,000 career points. He was named to the 2023 Naismith Hall of Fame Karl Malone Award Top 10 and the 2023 USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Award Midseason Watch List.
The Monroe, N.C. native became just the 17th player in Clemson history to eclipse 1,000 points and 600 rebounds in a career. In Clemson’s win over the Wolfpack (Feb. 25), Tyson became the all-time games played leader in Clemson history (136) and now has totaled 139.
Hall is the team’s second-leading scorer (15.4) and second-leading rebounder (5.6) this season. In ACC play he leads the team in scoring (17.6) and is second in rebounds (6.6). Hall is shooting 54.0 percent from the floor in league games, including 38.6 from three and 83.3 at the line.
He has totaled four double-doubles this season.
In the last 10 games, Hall has averaged a team-best 18.3 points per game, including 6.0 rebounds per contest – second to Tyson. Hall is shooting 59.1 percent from the floor, 48.3 percent from three and 79.2 percent at the foul line.
He has totaled 24 double-digit scoring games, including 10 20-point games. With his 15 points against Notre Dame, Hall secured 1,000 points for his career – joining teammates Tyson and Brevin Galloway to do so this season.
Clemson’s backcourt has been more than stellar this season with the play from Galloway and lead guard Chase Hunter. Hunter has seen career highs in points (13.6), rebounds (3.0) and assists (4.6) this season – proving to be one of the most improved players in the ACC.
Playing his final year of collegiate basketball for his hometown team, Galloway has added 11.3 points and 2.4 rebounds per contest. He shot it well from three this year, including 93.2 percent at the foul line in ACC play.
The Tigers have been ultra-impressive from the free throw line this season. As a team, Clemson is first in the league and sixth in the country. Its mark of 79.0 percent is currently first in program history. Six other Brad Brownell teams are listed in the top 10.
–story courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications
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