Virginia Cavaliers at Clemson Tigers – NCAAM January 16

No. 18 Virginia (8-2, 4-0) at No. 12 Clemson (9-1, 3-1)

Time:  3 PST – 5 CST – 6 EST

Place: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, S.C.

TV: ESPN

Cavaliers Have Dominated Tigers Through the Years:

Virginia leads Clemson 78-52 in the series, including a 35-25 advantage in TigerTown. The Cavaliers have won 10 consecutive in the series as the Tigers have scored 44 points or less in five of those games. The Cavs have also won the last three in Clemson, including a 63-43 decision in ’18-19. Tony Bennett has dominated the Tigers, 12-3, in his matchups against CU.

Vs. the Spread:

Virginia

  • The Cavaliers are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games
  • UVa is 4-1 ATS in it’s last 5 games at Clemson
  • Virginia is 6-0 SU in its last 6 road outings

Clemson

  • The total is gone UNDER in 4 of the last 6 games between the Tigers and Cavaliers
  • The OVER has been the play in 4 of the Tigers’ last 5 ACC games
  • Clemson is 5-0 SU in their last 5 home games
Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Virginia +1 (-110) O 117½ (-110)
Clemson -1 (-110) U 117½ (-110)

Last Time Out:

Jay Huff matched his career high of 18 points for the second straight game as the Cavaliers rolled past Notre Dame, 80-66, in Charlottesville. Sam Hauser and Casey Morsell had 15 each as Virginia shot 54.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line. Morsell, who had missed two games in a row was 6-of-7 from the field and made all three of his triples.

Clemson hasn’t played since a 74-70 win over NC State on Jan. 5 as the Tigers had the last two games against North Carolina and Syracuse due to covid protocols. Big man Aamir Simms hit the go-ahead basket for the second straight game as the Tigers rally from nine points down in the second half. Nick Honor led the Tigers with 21 points off of five triples as he made one of those to tie the game with 1:02 remaining.

Role Reversal:

This is usually a defensive struggle and this game won’t disappoint as the Tigers actually grade out better than the Cavaliers as they are No. 1 in the nation in defensive efficiency while Virginia is No. 13, per kenpom.com. Meanwhile the usual roles are reversed on offense as well as the Cavaliers are 33rd in offensive efficiency and Clemson is at 72.

Cavaliers’ Clipboard:

Virginia Cavaliers LogoVirginia plays tempo year after year and they are 333rd in the nation at 19.4 minutes per possession as they only average 8.1 on the season and they have a (+1.9) turnover margin. Kihei Clark will be trouble for the Tigers with his handles and ability to break down defenses which is a reason why Virginia has an effective field goal efficiency of 14th in the country. Clark averaged 14.4 points and 3.6 assists per game in his last five games. He will use bigs Sam Hauser (13.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Jay Huff (12.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg) in the paint in getting his offense to roll. Virginia has scored 70 or more points seven times and the 72. 4 points per game is the most underBennett since 76.8 in 2007-08.

Tigers’ Clipboard:

Clemson Tigers LogoThe athleticism and power of Simms on the inside could be a problem for Huff who has grown more physically big throughout his career as Simms makes 56.1 percent of his shots while leading the Tigers in scoring at 12.8 points per game. Honor (23) and Al-Amir Dawes (17) power an outside game as they one one and two in made three-pointers. Honor makes 44.2 percent of his three-point field goals. Virginia holds it’s opponents to 31.7 percent from behind the arc and has allowed Boston College and Notre Dame to make a combined 11-of-44 in the last two games.

Winner: Virginia (+1) 63, Clemson 55
O/U: Take OVER 117½

The Bets
Virginia +1
-110
OVER 117½
-110
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.