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Clemson throttles Auburn to advance to the Sweet Sixteen

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The Tigers fired on all cylinders from the start and ran away with a historic 84-53 win.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Auburn vs Clemson
Gabe DeVoe made six 3-pointers and led Clemson with 22 points in the Tigers’ rout of Auburn.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Gabe DeVoe kept shooting, and he shot the Clemson Tigers all the way to a berth in the Sweet Sixteen. The senior scored 22 points and drilled six threes to lead the way for Clemson, which played perhaps its most complete game in recent memory at the perfect time.

With Clemson leading 18-15 after 10 minutes of play, Auburn went ice cold and Clemson put together a 51-14 run that spanned two halves and turned what figured to be a competitive game in a blowout. Elijah Thomas’ layup and ensuing free throw gave Clemson an unfathomable 70-29 lead with 11:38 to play in the game. The Tigers cruised to an 84-53 win from there.

Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell chipped in 16 and 10 points, respectively, and Thomas posted an incredibly efficient double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Thomas was a major presence on defense as well, collecting three blocks and changing many more shots.

Clemson’s suffocating defense had Auburn out of sorts from the get-go, and when the Clemson offense got rolling, the Tigers from the Plains had little hope of keeping the game competitive. During its most dominant stretch of the game, Clemson held Auburn without a made field goal for 8 minutes of game time as they missed an astonishing 18 consecutive field goal attempts.

Auburn shot a paltry 26 percent from the field and made just 7 of 32 attempts from 3-point range.

It was quite simply a masterful performance by Clemson, which is headed to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1997.

The Tigers have now tied the school record for wins in a season with 25. They have only made the Elite Eight once in school history. They will take on the Midwest region’s No. 1 seed Kansas in Omaha on Friday night for a chance to do it again.