Clemson will sit at the center of the collegiate sporting world this weekend as the Tigers play in three massive games across the football and basketball landscape.
On Saturday, the men’s basketball team will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. to face off against the North Carolina Tar Heels; the game is set to tip-off at 4:30 p.m. on ACC Network Extra. Clemson and North Carolina have provided many great games on the hardwood over the years, but the biggest storyline in this game does not shed positive light on the Tigers.
Clemson is 0-59 against the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Yep, zero-for-59. Clemson has never beaten UNC on its home court, a streak which stands out among the many streaks in the sporting world (it is currently the longest home winning streak against one opponent in NCAA history). This is a burden that has been felt by Clemson basketball players, coaches and fans for years. The great Rick Barnes never won, nor did Oliver Purnell (still baffling considering how well Clemson played UNC under Purnell), nor has Brad Brownell, who has seven losses by 10 points or less to the Tar Heels, but led Clemson to a win in 2018.
It is safe to say that North Carolina has dominated Clemsonin Chapel Hill, but despite the sluggish 7-7 start for the Tigers this season, this could be the Tigers’ best shot at finally ending the cursed streak. The Tar Heels have looked awful this season, losing five games over the span of three weeks, including losses to unranked Michigan and Wofford. UNC is currently in the midst of back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh, who had not won a conference road game in nearly three years (see, there is hope, Clemson faithful). If Clemson can finally end the streak, it would kick start what could be a historic weekend for Clemson athletics.
Following the basketball game on Saturday, the football team will play a very important game on Monday night in New Orleans, La Chasing their third national championship in four years, Clemson is looking to become the fourth program in the A.P. poll era to win three titles in four years. Clemson will face off with No. 1 LSU, who is seeking its third national title since 2003. Led by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and head coach Ed Orgeron, the Tigers from Louisiana have been the storyline this season, dominating nearly every team in their path. This will be LSU’s first national title appearance since 2011, which was a loss in the very stadium the two Tigers will meet in on Monday night.
This championship game will be one for the ages. Clemson has won 29 games straight and is looking to complete back-to-back 15-0 championship seasons. LSU has been dominant during its magical run this season, having one of the best regular seasons ever. These heavyweights should produce one of the best games of the College Football Playoff era. Make sure to check out our pregame coverage this weekend.
If that was not enough, Clemson athletics gets another evening in the spotlight when the men’s basketball team hosts No. 2 Duke on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN. This matchup could be huge for the Tigers, especially if they beat UNC on Saturday. Picking up wins over UNC and Duke in a four-day stretch would be monumental for Clemson, who has given both programs plenty of fits over the years. The Tigers need both of these wins if they are going to have any postseason action in the future. Clemson has been known to give Duke problems, upsetting the Blue Devils in the ACC Tournament in 2008, beating Duke by 28 points at home the following year and then pulling off upsets in 2014 and 2016. However, the Tigers have currently lost four straight to the Blue Devils, but there is always hope.