Clemson exceeds expectations, heading to New York

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Overachieving Clemson men's basketball squad headed to Madison Square Garden.

Like all coaches, the Tigers' Brad Brownell would love for his team to be playing in the NCAA tournament, he's gratified by the growth his players have made to exceed expectations and continue advancing in the NIT into April.

Clemson reached the NIT semis, which will be played in New York, after rallying late against Belmont for a 73-68 win. Fans rushed the court in celebration Tuesday night, which seemed a little much for some observers.

Then again, maybe it's an appropriate "Thank You" from supporters of a team picked to finish 14th in the 15-team Atlantic Coast Conference before the season, but now among just three ACC teams still playing basketball.