NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Elite 8 Tonight: 8:49 PM, #6 Clemson against #4 Alabama, TBS/TruTV

By Sanderson “Snuffy” Smith

3 30 2024




LOS ANGELES – Chase Hunter’s (Atlanta, Ga./Westlake) three-point play with 25 seconds remaining put the Tigers up five and helped hold off a late run by No. 2 seed Arizona (27-10), as No. 6 seed Clemson prevailed 77-72 inside the Arena to advance to the second NCAA Elite Eight in program history. The Tigers (24-11) are the first to advance to the West Regional final. Clemson led for 37:02 in the game and trailed for just 20 seconds, while the game was tied twice.

Arizona cut the lead to two with under a minute remaining, but the Tigers used the three-point play from Hunter to push the lead back to five. The Wildcats got a layup with 15 seconds to go to cut it back to three, but Dillon Hunter (Atlanta, Ga./Westlake) snuck behind everyone and made a layup with nine seconds remaining to clinch the victory for Clemson.

PJ Hall (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman) and the elder Hunter combined for 20 of Clemson’s 38 second-half points, finishing the game with 17 and 18 points, respectively. Hall was also the Tigers’ leading rebounder, pulling down eight boards with Hunter adding seven. Ian Schieffelin (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) recorded his third-straight tournament game in double figures with 14 points to go along with seven rebounds.

Chauncey Wiggins (Grayson, Ga./Grayson) and RJ Godfrey (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) were big for the Tigers in the first half, finishing a combined 5-for-6 from the floor with three 3-pointers, including Godfrey’s third of the season.

Every Tiger that saw the court scored, as Clemson shot 49.2% from the floor as a team and recorded 17 assists on 29 made field goals. The 17 assists are the most for the Tigers in this year’s tournament. Clemson held Arizona to 37.3% shooting, just 17.9% from beyond the arc, their lowest three-point percentage of the year. The Bears’ 72 points were 15 below their season average, and Clemson held Arizona to just one field goal over an 11-minute stretch in the second half, including 12 straight misses at one point.

After a free throw by Caleb Love tied the game at 43 with 16:33 to go, Clemson held the Wildcats without a field goal for two minutes, but couldn’t stretch the lead, as Arizona grabbed a one-point advantage with 14:32 to go. Jack Clark (Cheltenham, Pa./Cheltenham) drained his only field goal of the second half, a three-pointer just 20 seconds later, to put the Tigers’ back in front and Clemson would never trail again.

The Wildcats tied the game one final time with 9:55 to go, but a layup by Hall sparked a 9-2 run to put Clemson back in front with 7:46 remaining. Both teams went without scoring for 2:30, but six points from Hall held off a furious Arizona run to help keep the Tigers in front.

The Tigers led by as many as 13 in the first half, as Wiggins’ third basket of the first 20 minutes gave Clemson the 27-14 advantage with 7:19 to go. Arizona cut it to six with 56 seconds remaining, but a pair of Schieffelin FTs gave the Tigers an eight-point lead heading into the break.

The win, Clemson’s first over Arizona in history, puts the Tigers into the Elite Eight for the first time since the 1980 NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will face Alabama on Saturday inside Arena.

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LOS ANGELES – With just one win remaining between the No. 4 seed Alabama men’s basketball team and a trip to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament Final Four, the Crimson Tide made its final preparations before its Elite Eight showdown with No. 6 seed Clemson Saturday night in Arena. The contest is slated to tip off at 7:49 p.m. CT (5:49 p.m. PT) on TBS and TruTV.

Alabama has reached the regional championship for just the second time in school history, joining the 2003-04 team. The Tide secured its spot in the Elite Eight thanks to an 89-87 victory over No. 1 seed North Carolina Thursday night. UA also owns a 109-96 victory over 13-seed College of Charleston in the opening round, followed by a 72-61 win against 12th-seeded Grand Canyon in the round of 32.


Fans can follow the Tide’s NCAA Tournament experience throughout on, as well as AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.