March 17, 2008
Clemson, SC – Clemson was ranked 22nd in the final Associated Press college basketball poll release on Monday, March 17. It is the first final top 25 national ranking for the program since the 1996-97 season when the Tigers were 14th in the final AP poll and eighth by USA Today.
Clemson was also ranked 22nd 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 fifth 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 24-9 record overall and a 10-6 mark in the ACC. The 24 wins rank in a tie for third best in school history, while the 10 ACC regular season wins tie the mark also set in 1986-87 and 1989-90. The 12 overall wins against ACC teams (including two in ACC Tournament) is a school record for one season. Clemson defeated 10 different ACC teams this year, also a first.
Clemson was a frequent visitor to the top 25 this year. Clemson was ranked in 11 of the 19 AP polls this year, the second most weekly rankings in one season in school history. Clemson was ranked in all 18 weekly AP polls in 1996-97.
The Clemson sports program now has a final top 25 Associated Press ranking in football and men’s basketball this year. This is just the third academic year in school history that Clemson has ranked in the final top 25 of the AP poll in both sports. The other years were 1986-87 and 1989-90.
Clemson was also one of five schools nationally to rank in the final top 25 of the football and men’s basketball polls for the 2007-08 academic year. The others are Kansas, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Texas.
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