Busting Brackets

Clemson Basketball: 3 keys for Sweet Sixteen NCAA Tournament game against Arizona

Clemson v Baylor
Clemson v Baylor / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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Feed Chase Hunter

Hall may be Clemson's best player, but Chase Hunter is emerging as its most important player through the early games of the Big Dance. He's not a big name nationally, but that could change if the Tigers keep feeding him against Arizona.

Hunter isn't some random unknown. The senior guard has averaged double-digit scoring in each of his past two seasons. While his scoring is down from the previous season, he's still averaging 12.7 points per game.

In Clemson's ACC Tournament flameout, Hunter was a non-factor. He scored only two points in 31 minutes as Boston College trounced the Tigers in the competition's Second Round. He seems to have taken that poor performance personally.

In both NCAA Tournament games, Hunter has at least 20 points and six assists each. Brownell basically played him from beginning to end against Baylor, as the senior guard came out for just a single minute all afternoon.

Prior to the NCAA Tournament, Hunter had just one 20-point performance all season. The fact that he's got two through two games shows that he's hitting his stride at the perfect time for the Tigers.

Next. Ranking the starting lineups of each Sweet 16. Ranking the starting lineups of each Sweet 16. dark

Even the most naive Clemson fans can probably admit that Arizona has more pound-for-pound talent than the Tigers. But Clemson has players like Chase Hunter stepping up at the opportune moment. That could be enough to propel the team to the Elite Eight.