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.
It was the first Atlantic Coast Conference loss for the Blue Devils (15-2, 5-1), who came into the game leading the nation with an average margin of victory of 21.5 points.
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.