March 16, 2009
Clemson was ranked 24th in the final Associated Press college basketball poll release on Monday, March 16. It is the second consecutive year the Tigers have been ranked in the final top 25 of the AP poll. This is the first time Clemson has been ranked in the final poll in consecutive years in history. Clemson was 22nd last year. Prior to last year Clemson had not been ranked in the final top 25 of any poll since the 1996-97 season.
Clemson was also ranked 21st this week by the USA Today Coaches poll. That poll will have its final ranking at the end of the NCAA Tournament. The Associated Press has had its final poll before the NCAA tournament for most of its history.
This is just the sixth time Clemson has finished in the top 25 of at least one of the major men’s basketball polls. Clemson was 17th in the UPI Coaches poll in 1974-75, its first top 25 final ranking. Other years Clemson was ranked in the final top 25 were 1986-87, 1989-90 and 1996-97. Clemson’s highest final ranking in any poll is eighth by the USA Today Coaches poll in 1996-97 when the Tigers reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Clemson reached the Final Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1980, but no polls were taken at the end of the NCAA Tournament in those days.
Oliver Purnell’s Clemson team has a 23-8 record overall and a 9-7 mark in the ACC this year. The Tigers face Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this Thursday. Clemson’s 23 wins include five against teams in the NCAA Tournament.
Clemson was a frequent visitor to the top 25 this year. Clemson was ranked in 14 of the 19 AP polls this year, the second most weekly rankings in one season in school history. Clemson was ranked in all 19 weekly AP polls in 1996-97.
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