NCAA 2011 Bracket: Can Tired Tigers Take Down West Virginia?
NCAA 2011 Bracket Released, Can Clemson Take Second Straight Win Over West Virginia?
The Clemson Tigers will be one of four teams in the 2011 NCAA tournament who will have to win an extra game to advance through the tournament. The Tigers square off against the UAB Blazers in the first round of the Big Dance on Tuesday, and, assuming they win, they have the unenviable task of taking on the fifth seeded West Virginia Mountaineers in the next round of the East Region.
The Tigers are talented, to be sure, behind their balanced lineup, punctuated by standout guards Demontez Stitt and Andre Young, and forward Jerai Grant. But given their lack of depth off the bench, and the fact that they will be playing two games in three days, including this matchup with the Mountaineers, do they really have what it takes to net another victory?
After all, West Virginia has emerged as a smashmouth kind of team in 2010-11, a grinding, physical club who loves to play aggressive basketball. They can score, thanks to guys like Casey Mitchell, Kevin Jones, and Darryl Bryant, as well as former tournament standouts like Joe Mazzulla and John Flowers.
In the end, I think even Bob Huggins' constant chokes in March aren't going to be enough to keep his quietly strong team from netting a solid win over a Clemson team sure to struggle to keep up with the Mountaineers' brutal style of play.
Sure, the Tigers are talented, but they just lack the depth to hang with the likes of West Virginia this season, and they'll be headed back to South Carolina without the 5-12 upset in their bag.
Final Score: West Virginia 65, Clemson 60.
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