Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday Night Basketball: Valentine Upset Preps Tigers For Trip To Their Version of Basketball Death Valley

YOUNG (Rainier Ehrhardt/AP Photo)
CLEMSON 60, #21 VIRGINIA 48 - Here at T.A.H., we call it the streak.  Clemson is 0-55 in Chapel Hill.   They have never defeated the Tar Heels in any of the various UNC Chapel Hill venues.  While it might be an issue today, it wasn’t last night at the Tigers upset #21Virginia.

It was only the Wahoos' second double-digit loss of the season, but it was the Cavs' second straight defeat. 

Andre Young and Tanner Smith scored 13 points each and Devin Booker had all 10 of his points in the second half as Clemson ran past the Cavaliers.  Now, the Tigers (13-12, 5-6 ACC) will carry a two-game win streak into Chapel Hill, where they are 0 for forever.  

T.A.H. has chronicled the first 20 games of “The Streak,” placing each game in historic context of the times.  For example, when the streak started, Thomas Edison and Wyatt Earp were both still alive...We will get to games 21 through 55, later in the year.  

Is this the year, the Tiger’s end the streak?

"We haven't said anything to them about it," said Clemson coach Brad Brownell, who couldn't escape a question or two about his team's upcoming challenge. "They're off tomorrow. We'll come back Thursday and formulate a plan."

BOOKER and SCOTT (Rainier Ehrhardt/AP Photo)
Brownell certainly had a good one to handle Virginia (19-6, 6-5). The ACC's second-best scoring defense stood strong throughout, forcing 18 turnovers (Virginia gives up fewer than 12 a game) off 14 steals. Virginia was held to its second fewest points this season, behind a 47-45 loss to Virginia Tech last month.

Cavaliers star Mike Scott was held to 13 points, four fewer than his average coming in while outside threat Joe Harris was ineffective trying to play with a broken left hand.

Harris came in averaging 12 points a game, but was limited to two points on 1-of-5 shooting.
Jontel Evans led the Cavaliers and tied his career high with 17 points. But Virginia wasn't the same team without a healthy Harris.

"Without Joe, we're not much of a threat from three," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "Those missed shots and turnovers are really crucial in a game like this."

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