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N.C. State Looks to Tame the Tigers

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CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson Tigers' futility in Chapel Hill has now reached 45 straight games, as Clemson has never beaten the Tar Heels at UNC. On Saturday, the Tigers dropped their conference opener in Chapel Hill, losing 69-53. It marked Clemson's second straight loss (lost to Illinois on December 29th). The Tigers look to end their skid on Tuesday when they host North Carolina State.

The Wolfpack have played surprisingly well this season. They have won two straight and five of their last six games, including a 75-69 win over Georgia Tech, to even their conference record at 1-1. Despite N.C. State's edge in the series, the Tigers have won nine of the last 12 meetings. Clemson has amassed a 16-12 all-time record against the Wolfpack at Littlejohn Coliseum.

N.C. State has been highly successful this year mixing explosive interior play with hard-nosed defense. The Wolfpack are averaging 80.5 points per game (fourth in the conference) while yielding just 61.7 (third in the conference).

The young players have had an immediate impact on this squad. 6-5 freshman Adam Harrington leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.8 ppg. He is shooting 44.5 percent from the floor, including 45.5 percent from three-point range. His playmaking along the perimeter has opened things up for sophomore big men Ron Kelley (6-10) and Kenny Inge (6-8). The pair are averaging 12.2 points each, while combining for 12.4 rebounds per game.

The team is getting 26.9 points per game from the bench. Defensively, the Wolfpack have frustrated opponents into 41.1 percent field-goal accuracy. N.C. State leads the ACC in rebound margin at +10.4 and has yet to be outrebounded this season.

Clemson has thrived this year with some of the stingiest defense in the nation. The team leads the ACC, allowing a mere 55.4 points per game. Opponents have been hampered by the Tigers' hard-nosed style of play, shooting a combined 37.2 percent from the floor, including 29.8 percent from behind the arc.

Despite their aggressiveness, it is guard Terrell McIntyre who leads the team in scoring from the perimeter. He is averaging 15.7 points per game, draining 50 percent of his shots. He is the team's top sharpshooter, connecting on 42.5 percent of his trey attempts (31-of-73).

The inside game is led by forward Harold Jamison and center Tom Wideman. Jamison is averaging a double-double, with 12.7 points and a team-best 10.0 rebounds per game. Jamison leads the ACC in field goal percentage, connecting on 72.8 percent of his shots. Wideman has been serviceable in the middle, adding 7.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

Site: Littlejohn Coliseum (11,020) -- Clemson, South Carolina.Home Record: N.C. State 8-0; Clemson 8-1.Away Record: N.C. State 0-2; Clemson 1-1.Neutral Record: N.C. State 2-1; Clemson 2-1.Conference Record: N.C. State 1-1; Clemson 0-1.Series Record: N.C. State leads 85-36.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Clemson 74, North Carolina State 68

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Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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