Check out the pollspeak site which catalogs the votes for each team. This is where many chose to express their dismay with last year’s whipping boy, Jon Wilner.
The polls were not as kind to Clemson’s next opponent, Illinois, as they dropped from both polls after losing two in a row this past week. Clemson’s ACC/Big Ten challenge game was setting up to be another game against a ranked opponent for the Tigers, but instead has turned into a redemption game for the Illini.
The Tigers are seeking another win against the Illini, who they beat last year in Urbana-Champaign 76-74. This year, the Tigers welcome the Illini to Littlejohn on Wednesday for a nationally televised matchup.
Also this week, the Tigers have a little university-wide redemption game against the Gamecocks. Last year, the Tigers defeated the Gamecocks in Columbia 98-87.
These national games are keeping the Tigers in the collective basketball consciousness of the AP voters. These games, like OP said, have NCAA tournament implications. Voters and tournament committee members only get to see some teams once or twice throughout the year and strong showing can only help.