Clemson Tigers: 22-8, 11-7 in the ACC

Head coach: Brad Brownell (8th season)

Players to watch: Marcquise Reed (16.4 PPG, 1.8 SPG); Gabe DeVoe (13.0 PPG, 39.9 3PT%); Elijah Thomas (10.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG)

Season recap: After entering the season unranked, Clemson made waves, climbing all the way up to No. 11 as recently as Feb. 12 behind a stifling defense.

The Tigers got off to a scorching 20-4 start, notching wins against then-No. 22 Florida, then-No. 18 Miami, and then-No. 19 North Carolina. But Clemson has fallen off a bit as of late, having to shoulder the loss of forward Donte Grantham for the season and guard Shelton Mitchell for two games—one of which was a 66-57 loss to Duke. The Tigers dropped four of their final six contests to close the regular season. 

On the offensive end, Clemson is by no means scary, but has some solid outside shooters in Gabe DeVoe and Marcquise Reed. Elijah Thomas also has provided a lift in the post. But the Tigers really shine on defense, ranking among the best in the nation in blocking shots and limiting opponents inside the arc en route to the fifth-best defensive efficiency mark in the country. They have, however, been very vulnerable defending the 3-point line. 

How they make a run: DeVoe and Reed get hot from deep to make the Tigers a force on both sides of the ball, allowing them to make a push in the tournament—especially with a double bye that helps them sneak through to the semifinals and a potential matchup with Virginia.