Clemson coach Brad Brownell entered this season once again on the so-called hot seat -- or at least that was the perception within the industry -- and in possession of a team picked to finish 11th in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
That's a scary combination.
Things didn't get off to the best of starts, either. The Tigers lost to a South Carolina team now ranked 269th in the NET in their second game of the season, then lost to a Loyola Chicago team now ranked 283rd in the NET in their 11th game of the season. Those are both Quadrant 4 defeats. Yuck. But Clemson has responded with a seven-game winning streak and is now 15-3 overall and 7-0 in the ACC following Saturday's 72-64 victory over Duke in which Brevin Galloway finished with a season-high 17 points and four rebounds.
"I was so emotional out there just realizing what was going on," Galloway said. "To go out there and perform the way I did on that stage was great for me."
And great for Clemson.
There's still a long way to go, obviously, but let the record show that Clemson now has at least a two-game lead over everybody else in the ACC standings, and that KenPom.com is currently projecting the Tigers to finish tied for first in the conference with Virginia. If it goes down that way, Clemson would claim its first ACC regular-season championship since 1990.
With all of this in mind, the Tigers have entered Sunday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings at No. 25 despite mostly shaky computer numbers and a resume featuring two Quadrant 4 losses. (Note: TCU is the only other team in the Top 25 And 1 with even one Q4 loss, and TCU's Q4 loss came more than two months ago in a game in which two of its top three scorers did not play.)
Simply put, at some point, Clemson's perfect ACC record featuring four Quadrant 1 victories has to be respected, and, I think, we've finally reached that point following Saturday's win over Jon Scheyer's Blue Devils, who are down to 26th in the Top 25 And 1 and just 3-3 in their past six contests.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Marcus Sasser finished with 31 points and four assists in Wednesday's 83-77 win over USF. The Cougars' next game is Tuesday at Tulane.||--||33-3|
|Fletcher Loyer finished with 27 points and three assists in Friday's 73-55 win over Nebraska. The Boilermakers' next game is Monday at Michigan State.||--||29-6|
|Gradey Dick finished with 21 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 62-60 win over Iowa State. The Jayhawks' next game is Tuesday at Kansas State.||--||28-8|
|Brandon Miller finished with 31 points and nine rebounds in Saturday's 106-66 win over LSU. The Crimson Tide's next game is Tuesday at Vanderbilt.||--||31-5|
|Drew Timme finished with 18 points and two assists in Saturday's 115-75 win over Portland. The Zags' next game is Thursday against Loyola Marymount.||--||30-5|
|Jaime Jaquez Jr. finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday's 68-54 win over Colorado. The Bruins' next game is Thursday at Arizona State.||3||31-5|
|UConn allowed the Golden Eagles to shoot 50.8% from the field in Wednesday's 82-76 loss at Marquette. The Huskies' next game is Sunday against St. John's.||1||27-8|
|Colby Jones finished with 20 points and four rebounds in Wednesday's 90-87 win over Creighton. The Musketeers' next game is Sunday against Marquette.||2||27-9|
|Marcus Carr finished with 20 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 72-70 win over Texas Tech. The Longhorns' next game is Tuesday at Iowa State.||3||28-8|
|Emanuel Miller finished with 23 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 82-68 win over Kansas State. The Horned Frogs' next game is Wednesday at West Virginia.||4||22-13|
|Kansas State missed 15 of the 21 3-pointers it attempted in Saturday's 82-68 loss at TCU. The Wildcats' next game is Tuesday against Kansas.||5||25-9|
|Tennessee missed 18 of the 21 3-pointers it attempted in Saturday's 63-56 loss to Kentucky. The Vols' next game is Tuesday at Mississippi State.||5||25-10|
|Iowa State's Caleb Grill missed seven of the eight shots he attempted in Saturday's 62-60 loss at Kansas. The Cyclones' next game is Tuesday against Texas.||--||19-14|
|Armaan Franklin finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 67-58 win at Florida State. The Cavaliers' next game is Wednesday against Virginia Tech.||2||25-8|
|Arizona allowed the Ducks to shoot 53.1% from the field in Saturday's 87-68 loss at Oregon. The Wildcats' next game is Thursday against USC.||4||28-7|
|Oso Ighodaro finished with 19 points and three rebounds in Wednesday's 82-76 win over UConn. The Golden Eagles' next game is Sunday at Xavier.||2||29-7|
|LJ Cryer finished 16 points and two assists in Saturday's 74-58 win over Oklahoma State. The Bears' next game is Tuesday at Texas Tech.||4||23-11|
|Terquavian Smith finished with 20 points and three rebounds in Saturday's 83-81 overtime win over Miami. The Wolfpacks' next game is Tuesday at Georgia Tech.||7||23-11|
|Miami finished with 17 turnovers and five assists in Saturday's 83-81 overtime loss at NC State. The Hurricanes' next game is Monday against Syracuse.||4||27-7|
|Providence missed 15 of the 19 3-pointers it attempted in Saturday's 73-67 loss at Creighton. The Friars' next game is Wednesday at Marquette.||3||21-12|
|Johnell Davis finished with 16 points and three steals in Saturday's 66-62 win over Florida Atlantic. The Owls' next game is Monday at Western Kentucky.||2||33-3|
|Jaylin Williams finished with 21 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 69-63 win over Mississippi State. The Tigers' next game is Wednesday at LSU.||2||21-13|
|Dain Danja finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in Friday's 75-66 win over Michigan State. The Spartans' next game is Monday against Purdue.||3||20-13|
|Aidan Mahaney finished with 21 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 78-61 win at San Francisco. The Gaels' next game is Thursday at Pepperdine.||NR||27-8|
|PJ Hall finished with 26 points and four rebounds in Saturday's 72-64 win over Duke. The Tigers' next game is Tuesday at Wake Forest.||NR||23-11|
|Duke missed 17 of the 20 3-pointers it attempted in Saturday's 72-64 loss at Clemson. The Blue Devils' next game is Saturday against Miami.||4||27-9|
In: Saint Mary's, Clemson | Out: San Diego State, Arkansas