Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Clemson Tigers Pick & Prediction MARCH 9th 2024

Despite being separated by just a game in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, Clemson and host Wake Forest are on very different trajectories entering their regular-season finale Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Clemson (21-9, 11-8 ACC) is firmly in the NCAA Tournament field, thanks in large part to a NET ranking of 24 and wins over South Carolina and at Alabama and North Carolina.

Following a successful senior night against Syracuse, the Tigers will look to head into next week’s ACC Tournament on a winning streak. They also can clinch a double-bye in the tournament with a win Saturday.

Clemson took care of the Orange on Tuesday, 90-75, as seniors PJ Hall and Joseph Girard III went out on top in their last game at home.

Hall, the team leader with 18.8 points per game, led all scorers with 25 points, while Girard (15.8 ppg) added 21.

“Obviously that was a fun senior night,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “PJ was on fire, which was terrific. And then Chase Hunter, Joe, Ian Schieffelin all played exceptionally well.”

Honored with Hall and Girard was fifth-year point guard Hunter, who has an opportunity to come back next season due to an injury redshirt. Hunter scored 17 against Syracuse, raising his scoring average to 12.4. Schieffelin collected 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Tigers.

Wake Forest (18-12, 10-9) comes into the finale as a desperate group. After beating then-No. 8 Duke on Feb. 24, the Demon Deacons have dropped three straight and are in danger of watching their bubble burst.

In an all-important home game against Georgia Tech Tuesday, Wake Forest rallied from a 19-point deficit but fell 70-69 on Baye Ndongo’s buzzer-beating jumper.

“It was a tough locker room,” Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said after the loss. “But we’ve got to get back and be ready to play a really good team on Saturday who’s playing for a lot, too.”

Hunter Sallis leads Wake Forest in scoring at 18.2 points per game, followed by Kevin Miller’s 15.6.

–Field Level Media

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