CHARLOTTE, N.C. — No. 1 Clemson emphatically claimed its spot in the College Football Playoff with a 38-3 victory over No. 7 Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday night.

The Tigers (12-1) came in ranked atop the CFP rankings and should remain their in Sunday’s final rankings after their decisive show left little doubt the defending national champs are looking to go back-to-back.

Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney said in the postgame celebration he hadn’t been to New Orleans since going with Alabama in 1992, when he played for that national championship squad. The Tigers should get their pick of playoff sites as the probable No. 1 seed, and Swinney left no wiggle room about what he’ll choose.

“Get ready, Sugar Bowl,” he shouted. “Here we come.”

Kelly Bryant set a championship game record – and surpassed his friend and former teammate Deshaun Watson’s mark of 13 – by completing his first 15 passes. He finished with 252 yards passing and a 27-yard TD pass to Deon Cain on the way to Clemson’s third straight ACC crown.

“It’s just in our DNA. We’re built for moments like this,” said Bryant, named the game’s MVP.

Bryant had one of Clemson’s four rushing touchdowns, and the Tigers’ defense made it stand up against a Hurricanes team that has been spurred on to its turnaround season by its glitzy, bling-covered “Turnover Chain” – jewelry worn by any Miami player with an interception or a fumble recovery.

Instead, it was the Tigers who won the turnover battle (3 to 1) and held Miami to its fewest points and yards of the season, spoiling the Hurricanes’ first appearance in the ACC final since the one-time powerhouse joined the league in 2004.

Clemson’s Travis Etienne opened the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run before Bryant’s twisting, 11-yard run for a 14-0 first-quarter lead. It was essentially over after that, as the Hurricanes (10-2, No. 7 CFP) lost their second straight after rising to No. 2 in the CFP two weeks ago.

“Obviously, it didn’t go well at all,” Miami Coach Mark Richt said. “It just shows they’re the class of our league and they’re the measuring stick.”

Miami fell apart in the third quarter, with a pair of Malik Rosier interceptions leading to 10 points for the Tigers. The Hurricanes, who had averaged 440 yards a game this season, finished with 214 yards. They broke the shutout on Michael Badgley’s 29-yard field goal with 3:29 to go.