May 8, 2003
CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson men’s tennis team will travel to Champaign, IL for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships. The Tigers will play Ball State on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. (CT), while Butler will take on the #1 seed Illinois at 11:00 a.m. (CT). The winners of each match will play on Sunday at 12:00 a.m. (CT) to vie for a spot in the Sweet 16 in Athens, GA.
Clemson finished second in regular season ACC play and has a 24-10 overall record. The Tigers most recently posted a runner-up finish at the ACC Championships in Raleigh, NC. This will be the 20th time that Clemson has been to the NCAA tournament since the format changed to a team format in 1977. The Tigers are one of the top teams nationally as far as appearances in the NCAA team tournament. Clemson went to 11 straight NCAA team tournaments between the years of 1879 and 1989, the second longest streak of post-season appearances in Clemson team sports history.
The Tigers hold a 5-1 all-time advantage over Ball State. The two teams last met in 1998, as Clemson defeated the Cardinals by a score of 5-2 at the Corpus Christi Invitational. Ball State is 17-7 overall, after capturing the MAC Championship.
Clemson is 2-1 all-time against Illinois, after dropping a 4-3 decision to the Illini in 1997. Illinois is the top-ranked team in the nation with a 26-0 overall record.
Butler and Clemson have never met on the court before. The Bulldogs are 18-6 overall this season, after capturing their second-straight Horizon League title. This will be Butler’s second NCAA tournament appearance.
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