Clemson Tigers (24-9) vs. Villanova Wildcats (20-12)
When: Friday, 9:40 p.m.
1. "Clempson," as some locals refer to it, resides in the city of Clemson in the northwestern region of South Carolina known as "The Upstate." It was opened in 1893 as a military academy exclusively for Caucasian males, serving as one of the rare instances of racial discrimination in the South. The school later abandoned its military curriculum and started its rich tradition of admitting hot, bangable women that would make your penis explode in 1955. Notable Clemson alumni include tabloid television anchor Nancy O'Dell and noted statesman/multiculturalist Strom Thurmond, for which the university's Strom Thurmond Institute is named ... I think.
2. The HNIC.Head coach Oliver Purnell came to Clemson from Dayton in 2003, where he had led the Flyers to two NCAA berths in four years. He has served seven times as an assistant to the US Men's National Team. He also won an NCAA Division II title with Old Dominion as a player in 1975. Oh, and he blogs, albeit infrequently. Clemson also has an assistant coach named Shaka Smart. It's worth passing along.
3. Weak Down The Stretch.The Tigers won their first 18 games of the 2006-07 season, but shit the bed in conference play and had to settle for a 1-seed in the NIT (they lost in the championship game of that tournament). Although Clemson boasts a better mark in the ACC this season, they've suffered losses against Florida State, Charlotte, Ole Miss, and Miami, none of whom are currently ranked. The Tigers also took North Carolina to OT twice, but lost both times.
And Some Actual Player Info...A slogan commonly seen on car decals promoting the aforementioned fuckability of the female student body reads, "Clemson Girls, Best In The World." Ballers Junior K.C. Rivers, senior Cliff Hammonds, and spohomore Trevor Booker have been the best in the world for the Tigers, having started every games this season through March 1. Hammonds leads the team in points, assists, steals, and minutes. —Monday Morning Punter
1. I Got A Name. As if it wasn't rare enough to find one young African-American with the name Corey, Coach Wright went out and found two: freshman guards Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher, both McDonald's All-Americans in high school. Each has shown tremendous promise in their limited time on the court (Stokes is an 89percent free-throw shooter, and Fisher is third on the team in points and steals per game). Not since the days of Mssrs. Feldman and Haim has such untapped, dual-Corey-based potential lay waiting to be sprung upon an unsuspecting America.
2. Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels). Whereas most college athletic programs are content to limit their scandals to recruiting violations and date rape, Villanova's athletes strive to achieve a more genteel form of notoriety. And so, enter the phone cards. On two separate occasions, in 1996 and 2002, Villanova students were busted for unauthorized use of calling cards (a violation of an NCAA rule prohibiting extra benefits to student athletes), the latter incident resulting in a suspension of twelve players on the active roster which carried over into the 2003-04 season.
3. New York's Not My Home. Jay Wright's first coaching gig was at Hofstra University, which offered him a rich recruiting environment among the private schools and public playgrounds of New York City and Northern New Jersey. He continued to scout for players in that area even after landing the head coaching position at Villanova. In 2004 Wright recruited Kyle Lowry, a scrappy guard from Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philly. While a significant portion of the current underclassmen still hail from Brooklyn, the Bronx and North Jersey, local players such as Reggie Redding and Shane Clark show that Wright is now willing to seek talent further south along the Northeast Corridor. — Chamomiles Davis