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Hoops Preview: Clemson visits UVA

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NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

When: Wed. 7pm

Where: John Paul Jones Arena

TV: RSN

I’ve been dealing with internet issues at work all day, so this is going to be short and sweet. Clemson has to go play UVA, which in any venue has been terrible since Tony Bennett took over the Cavaliers, but Charlottesville has been a house of horrors for Clemson basketball even before Bennett came and brought UVA up to elite status. Clemson is 2-14 at UVA since 2000 and some of the most horrific offensive outputs in modern Clemson history have taken place there. Much better teams than this year’s Tigers have traveled up there and lost to teams worse than this year’s Cavaliers.

The Cavs are not what they have been the last few years where they have been the best regular season team in the ACC, not to mention winning the national title just last season. While UVA still is the best defensive team in the nation, giving up just 50.7 points per game, they are not as efficient on offense as they have been and are only shooting the 3 pointer at 27.2% as a team, way down from last year’s 40.9%. As a result, they are “only” 14-6 overall and 6-4 in the ACC.

Clemson is coming off its worst performance of the season with a terrible loss at Wake Forest. The Tigers scored a paltry 44 points against one of the worst defensive teams in the ACC, if not THE worst. John Paul Jones Arena is not the place you want to go to try to get right on offense, and the question for me is will Clemson even break 40 tonight? They will need to pass 50 to even hope to pull the upset. UVA has given up 53 or more in their six losses, while Clemson hasn’t won a single game scoring under 60 points.

UVA’s star is Mamadi Diakite, the one major returner from last year’s championship team. Braxton Key and Kihei Clark were rotational guys who have stepped into starting roles and are the other two Cavs averaging double figure scoring.

UVA has won 9 straight over Clemson. Unless this plays out in what I’m going to call the “Bizarro Brownell” way, it will be 10 straight. That loss to Wake was a killer with this road trip looming right behind it.

Ryan Kantor calls for a 45-39 UVA win. I say the first team to 45 (if Clemson can even get there) wins.