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January 4, 2008
MORE: Head-to-Head Breakdown
Maybe it's a blessing that Clemson opens its ACC season at home Sunday against North Carolina.
The Tigers (12-1) can silence anyone who believes this team resembles last season's, which started 17-0 and was 17-1 when the Tar Heels came calling. UNC blasted the Tigers 77-55, and Clemson went on to lose seven of its next nine games and miss the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers believe they're better than they were a year ago. They've bounced back from their first loss this season, against Ole Miss, to win two games. One of those games was an 87-61 thrashing of Alabama. It was the Tide's worst non-conference home loss since 1970.
The Tar Heels (14-0) might be better, too. They've yet to play a ranked opponent, but they've beaten some quality teams and are doing so easily. They're the second-highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 92.2 points per game.
Here's a closer look at the Tar Heels-Tigers matchup, which will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.