After scoring just 16 points in the second half and losing to NC State in their first ACC Tournament game, the Clemson Tigers sit firmly on the bubble. This loss came after holding a 16-point lead at halftime and some questionable foul calls at the end of the game. Most people have Clemson in the “last four in” or “first four out” sections. This leads me to one question: Why would we reward a mediocre power-5 team that had plenty of chances to prove they should be in the big dance, over an actual good mid-major who doesn’t have the same opportunity?
Clemson had 11 chances to get a quadrant one win and they only did once against Virginia Tech, without their best player, Justin Robinson. That isn’t the resume of a team deserving of an at-large bid the to the tournament. Clemson had an abundance of chances to prove they belong with the good teams and time and time again this season they proved the opposite.
Take Belmont for example, a good mid-major team that didn’t win their conference tournament. The Bruins ended with a 26-5 overall record and went 16-2 in their conference. Against teams in Quads 1 and 2, they finished 5-3. Granted, that’s not a great record but it’s certainly better than Clemson’s 1-10 against Quad 1 alone.
It’s time the committee started to reward teams like Belmont, and not average teams like Clemson solely because they play in a conference like the ACC. Hopefully when Sunday rolls around, they take my advice.