It came down to the wire.
Markell Johnson scored 23 points, including the go-ahead free throw with less than 3 seconds remaining, as NC State defeated Clemson in the second round of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament 59-58.
The Tigers went 8-13 from behind the arc in the first half as they took a commanding 42-26 lead at halftime. However, they only made one 3-point shot the rest of the way.
The most glaring performance of the game, however, came from one of the Clemson trumpet players (who begged to remain anonymous) as he forgot to bring his basketball uniform and was therefore unable to play.
He had no choice but to watch and heckle from the stands, finishing with zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists, zero blocks and zero steals.
Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell was disappointed after the game.
“…Too much at stake for things to end like that,” Brownell said, motioning to the stands, “but it sure would’ve been nice if we’d had that damn trumpeter on the floor in crunch time.”
As the Tigers controlled the game in the first half, the trumpeter was heard heckling Wolfpack guard Braxton Beverly, who had 4 points but went 0-4 behind the arc.
“He is SO bad!” the horn blower yelled. “He had nobody on him!”
“You’re supposed to be able to shoot if you’re that short!”
One Clemson fan, who also asked to remain anonymous, was beside himself as the game ended.
“That stupid trumpet player, all he had to do was make one basket, and we would’ve won the damn game,” he grumbled, ” but what kind of doofus forgets to bring his basketball uniform to a basketball game?”
Marcquise Reed led the Tigers with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the team fell to 19-13 on the season as it awaits its postseason fate, to be announced Sunday.
NC State advances to the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament, where it faces top-seeded Virginia at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.