Clemson looked to be in control of today’s ACC Tournament game against NC State, but a late Wolfpack push put this one, looked at as a potential NCAA Tournament play-in game, made things very dramatic.
The Tigers led by 16 at the half. In the last 15 minutes though, State chipped away at that lead, eventually taking the lead on a three with 5:39 left.
From there, it was back-and-forth. At the 3:43 mark, Elijah Thomas put the Tigers up 58-57 on a layup.
There was no score over the next three minutes and 40 seconds, until a very controversial foul call put Wolfpack guard Markell Johnson on the line.
With a foul to give, Clyde Trapp appeared to be trying to take one, and got hands on Markell Johnson well before he was able to get a shot off.
Instead, the official called the light shooting foul, putting Johnson on the line for the win. Judge the call for yourself:
— Jim Szoke (@jimszoke) March 13, 2019
1 no anotan en 4 minutos y luego este foul marcado al final 🤦🏽♂️
Clemson -2 ❌ pic.twitter.com/DZk83SZ4Gy
— Chuy Sports (@ChuyRamos23) March 13, 2019
Johnson went to the line and knocked both down, giving NC State the 59-58 win.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas says that Clemson has a legit gripe on the late call there.
Clemson has legit reason to be upset. With a foul to give and trying to foul, Clyde Trapp had two hands on the ball handler, Markelle Johnson, at the top of the key. That’s an automatic foul call, and it was ignored. Tough break for Clemson.
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) March 13, 2019
The loss very well may knock Clemson out of NCAA Tournament contention, a tough pill to swallow given the big lead they had into the second half.
NC State, on the other hand, advances to face No. 1 seed Virginia in tomorrow’s quarterfinal. That game will tip off from Charlotte at 12:30 p.m. ET.