DAYTON, OH - MARCH 15: Andre Young #11 of the Clemson Tigers drives to the basket against the UAB Blazers during the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 15, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

NCAA Tournament 2011: Clemson Moves On To Play West Virginia After Crushing UAB 70-52

Jerai Grant scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Clemson made easy work of UAB, 70-52, in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

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NCAA Tournament 2011, Clemson vs. UAB Final Score: Tigers Crush Blazers 70-52, Head To Tampa To Take On West Virginia

Jerai Grant scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Clemson made easy work of UAB, 70-52, in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament at University of Dayton Arena.

The “First Four” game was between the last two at-large programs selected in the now 68-field tourney, but the affair was completely one-sided.

The Tigers won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1997 by making 51 percent from the field and forcing 19 turnovers to win going away and earn a No. 12 seed in the East Regional, where they will play fifth-seeded West Virginia on Thursday in Tampa.

Milton Jennings netted 11 points, while Tanner Smith and Devin Booker each added 10 for Clemson (22-11), which narrowly made the field after finishing tied for fourth in a mediocre Atlantic Coast Conference.

Jamarr Sanders led UAB with 19 points, as the Blazers (22-9) did little to silence critics of their tournament-worthy resume out of the unheralded Conference USA.

Go celebrate with the Clemson fans at Shakin’ The Southland or check in with West Virginia fans at The Smoking Musket as they preview their next opponent.


NCAA Tournament 2011, Clemson vs. UAB Score: Tigers Cruise To 37-24 Halftime Lead Against UAB In Play-In Game

It took a little later than it should have, but someone finally woke up UAB and reminding them they’re playing Clemson tonight in the First Four Play-In game.

At the 9:30 mark in the first half, Clemson led the game 25-7. Later on they trailed 31-13. At that point they finally decided to make a run and close the gap.

Jerai Grant leads the Tigers with 12 points on 6-9 shooting as well as 7 rebound. Milton Jennings has 8 points and two players have six for Clemson.

UAB is shooting 32% from the field and it shows in the player scores. Dexter Fields has nine points while no other player has more than six.

UAB needs to make their move quickly, lest they want the Colorado fans to hate them by proxy for the next three months. Either way, West Virginia can’t be too worried at the moment about which team will show up to play them.

For more game discussion, visit Clemson blog Shakin’ The Southland.


NCAA Bracket Preview, Predictions: Clemson Vs. UAB In First Four Game

If you know any Colorado Buffaloes fans, you may want to steer them away from the TV during the 2011 NCAA Tournament's second first-four play-in game, which features the Clemson Tigers and UAB Blazers. More than any other seedings, the inclusion of Clemson and UAB have drawn spite, ire, and spittle from bracketologists and commentators, especially since Colorado, Virginia Tech, and Alabama couldn't make the cut.

And they're playing each other! It's almost like the selection committee set up the two unwitting heels to play each other, dominating TV ratings in Boulder, Blacksburg, and Tuscaloosa.

The winning team gets the No. 12 seed and takes on the No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers. For some reason the East region has two play-in games. What does it all mean? What does it all mean?

Star Watch: Demontez Stitt came up huge for Clemson in the ACC tournament, scoring 45 points in two games. He's backed up by six-foot-eight forward Jerai Grant, who grabs 6.7 boards per game. Green could have a tough time with Cameron Moore, a 14-time double-digit rebounder this season. Jamarr Sanders leads the Blazers with 17.7 points per game.

Prediction: Clemson, a team that Ken Pomeroy's numbers adore, sheepishly tops UAB and slips quietly into the field of 64, hoping nobody notices. 

More Reading: For more on Clemson visit Shakin' The Southland, and for more on all things mid-major visit Mid Major Madness.

Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for the East RegionWest RegionSoutheast Region, and Southwest Region.

Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.

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