Clemson returns to NCAA Tournament play vs. New Mexico State

SAN DIEGO (WOLO) – Clemson is making their return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years, the second time under Brad Brownell, as the Tigers will take on New Mexico State Friday night in the first round.

Brownell led the Tigers to a First Four win over Alabama-Birmingham in 2011, before falling to West Virginia in the first round.

New Mexico State won the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships, now headed to their sixth March Madness in the last seven years.

GAMEDAY SETUP

No. 20/18 CLEMSON (23-9, 11-7 ACC) vs. NEW MEXICO STATE (28-5, 12-2 WAC)

Date: Friday, March 16

Tipoff: 9:57 p.m. ET

Arena: Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (12,414)

Radio: CTN (Don Munson-pbp; Tim Bourret-color)

TV: TruTV (Carter Blackburn-pbp; Deb Antonelli-color; Sideline-John Schriffen)

  • Clemsonand New Mexico State have never met in program history.
  • This marks the second trip to the NCAA Tournament forClemsonunder head coach Brad Brownell. The Tigers went in 2011.
  • A No. 5 seed is the highest for the Tigers since they were also the fifth seed in 2008. A 75-69 loss to Villanova in Tampa, Fla.
  • Marcquise Reed, Mark Donnal and David Skara are the lone Tigers with NCAA Tournament experience. Reed played 2 games in 2015 Tournament during his freshman season with Robert Morris. Skara played one game in 2015.
  • This marks Donnal’s third NCAA Tournament trip after making two with Michigan (Five games played). Reached Sweet 16 in 2017.

SERIES HISTORY
CU Series W-L record: FIRST MEETING
Streak: FIRST MEETING

TIGER TRACKS

  • Head coach Brad Brownell has taken three schools to the NCAA Tournament, including twice during his tenure atClemson(2011; 2018). It marks his fifth trip to the tournament.
  • He took each of his schools to the NCAA Tournament in his first season. (UNC Wilmington, 2003; Wright State, 2007;Clemson, 2011).
  • When coach Brownell tookClemsonto the tournament in 2011 it was the first time that a head coach at Clemson took a Tiger team in his first year.
  • The Tigers’ last victory in the NCAA Tournament came in the First Four game in 2011 – a 70-52 win over UAB (Alabama-Birmingham).
  • Marcquise Reed (two games) and Mark Donnal (five games) and David Skara (one game) are the lone Tigers that have NCAA Tournament experience.
  • Donnal has averaged 3.0 points per contest in five games, while Reed posted   20.5 points in two games, including 22 against Duke in the second round in 2015. Skara scored two points in one game in 2015.
  • Reed is the firstClemsonplayer to have at least 500 points, 100 rebounds, 100 assists and 50 steals in the same season since Billy Williams in 1979-80.

Clemson Athletics contributed to this article.

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