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Hitting The Competitive Skids

Nothing is more dreary than a long losing streak. Site note: Barry will be taking a few days away from DBR and will return soon.

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Clemson v Louisville
LOUISVILLE, KY - JANUARY 19: Ray Spalding#13 of the Louisville Cardinals shoots the ball against the Clemson Tigers at KFC YUM! Center on January 19, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

This isn’t the kind of streak Clemson wanted to compile.

After splitting their first four games of the season, losing to ranked Xavier and to Oklahoma on a neutral court in Orlando, Brad Brownell’s Tigers ran off nine straight victories. That was the program’s best run since opening with 16 consecutive wins in 2009, prior to Brownell’s tenure.

Only Florida State (12) and Duke (10) surpassed that streak this season, and only Notre Dame has matched it.

Then there’s the other kind of streak – the downward spiral, the slide, the fall, the skid, the stumble, when it feels like you can’t catch a break and the clouds will never part and all sorts of other clichés for finding yourself in a lousy fix.

In short, when you keep losing one game after another.

Clemson is now in that realm. Brownell’s club has lost six straight, most by an ACC team this season. Pittsburgh has dropped four in a row, pending Louisville’s visit tomorrow. Otherwise only NC State has lost as many as three consecutive contests all season, a tumble it arrested last week against Pitt.

Florida State, Louisville and North Carolina are the only ACC squads that have avoided back-to-back defeats so far.

The immediate schedule holds promise for Clemson to break its ruinous run. After Virginia Tech’s 82-81 triumph last night at refurbished Littlejohn Coliseum, the Tigers play three of their next five games against teams at or below .500 in the ACC.

Next up is a winnable visit to Pitt, which entered the weekend tied for last with Clemson. The Panthers already have lost twice in three tries at home.

During the first week in February Georgia Tech and Syracuse, neither of which figured to outshine Clemson in the ACC race, come to Littlejohn. Besides Pitt, the other road trips are to Florida State and Duke. Clemson hasn’t won at Cameron Indoor Stadium since January 1995, Rick Barnes’ ACC debut and the last game Mike Krzyzewski coached that season before being sidelined.

Longest ACC Winning Streaks, 2017 Season Through Jan. 22
(Separate Streaks Listed Separately)
Wins Team in ACC Ended
12 Florida State 4 1/14 @ No. Carolina
10 Duke 0 12/31 @ Va. Tech
9 Clemson 1 1/3 v No. Carolina
9 Notre Dame 0 12/10 v Villanova
8 Virginia Tech 1 1/4 @NC State
7 Miami 1 1/4 @ Syracuse
7 North Carolina 0 11/30 @ Indiana
7 Notre Dame 5 1/18 @ Fla. State
7 Virginia 0 12/3 v West Va.
6 North Carolina 6 Ongoing
6 Louisville 0 12/28 v Virginia
6 NC State 0 12/31 @ Miami

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