Tag Archives: Weary

Clemson stuns No. 3 Duke after upsetting North Carolina

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson gave its weary fans something to celebrate a night after losing the national championship game in football, getting a career-high 25 points from Aamir Simms in a 79-72 upset of No. 3 Duke on Tuesday night.

It was the highest-profile upset for the Tigers since beating No. 1 North Carolina on their home court in February 2001. And just like that day, students rushed the court at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The Blue Devils (15-2, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) came into the game a 10 1/2-point favorite and leading the nation with an average margin of victory of 21.5 points. Duke had not lost since a stunning home defeat to Stephen F. Austin in November.

The Tigers completed one of the rarest of ACC doubles. They beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the first time in program history Saturday, ending a 59-game losing streak on the Tar Heels’ home court.

Clemson (9-7, 3-3) has now beaten North Carolina and Duke in back-to-back games twice. The other time came in 1990, when the Tigers won their only regular-season title in 67 ACC seasons.

Less than 24 hours earlier, The Tigers’ football team fell short in its bid for a third national championship in five seasons, losing 42-25 to LSU in the College Football Playoff championship game at the Superdome in New Orleans. No one expects the Tigers to make a run to the title in basketball, but for one night, they showed they could thump one of the country’s best teams.

Like they did Saturday in Clemson’s historic first win ever at North Carolina, Simms and Tevin Mack dominated the second half for the Tigers.

Clemson led 40-33 at halftime and stretched the lead to nine points before Duke rallied. The Blue Devils led 62-59 with 6:40 remaining.

That’s when Clemson took control with a 14-3 run, including eight points from Simms. His three-point play made it 73-65 with 2:16 remaining.

Mack scored 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting. Simms was 10 of 15 from the field and had nine rebounds and five assists.

Vernon Carey Jr. scored 20 points for Duke and Tre Jones had 17.