Auburn basketball: Wrapping up the regular season

Well. We made it. For better or for worse, this tumultuous Auburn basketball regular season is over. As per usual, the Tigers couldn’t string together many wins, but the ones they did were huge for NCAA Tournament seeding.

Let’s recap how the team played over the final two weeks and talk about the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, but let’s be thankful that this team never quit.

Last three weeks of Auburn basketball

The Tigers struggled all year on the offensive end. This is no secret. And it hurt them in the middle of a backloaded schedule. Losses to a surging Vanderbilt, a mostly surging Kentucky, and a likely one-seeded Alabama kept this team from securing the double-bye in Nashville. Wins over Missouri, Ole Miss, and 12th-ranked Tennessee kept this team off of the bubble.

For the Tigers’ issues, when it rained, it poured. Bad offense down the stretch is the biggest reason why this team never got going. In both losses to Alabama, this team had a 2nd half lead, but they promptly handed it away.

Where this team never quits is on defense. Outside of the Kentucky game, no one ran Auburn basketball off the court for 40 minutes. And that should be encouraging. Defense wins championships in March, and while this team is not the 2019 or 2020 team offensively, they are just as good defensively.

Auburn basketball in SEC Tournament

The Tigers will be facing Arkansas in round one in Nashville. Both Arkansas and Auburn had big aspirations this season, yet neither lived up to them. For Arkansas, a plethora of injuries to their best players kept them from realizing that potential. With that being said, Eric Musselman (in my own personal opinion) is the best coach in the SEC pound-for-pound.

Arkansas just got Nick Smith Jr. back. NSJ, Anthony Black, Ricky Council, and the Mitchell brothers are all capable of giving Auburn hell. Fortunately, Auburn has played TOP NOTCH defense over the last three weeks.

If the Tigers prevail over the Hawgs, they will face Texas A&M in round two, where the buzzsaw (no pun intended) of Bruce Pearl’s Auburn tenure awaits.

NCAA Tournament for Auburn basketball

The Tigers are projected to be anywhere from an 8-seed to an 11-seed, with most thinking 9 or 10. The win over Tennessee, albeit without Tennessee’s best playmaker in Zakai Ziegler, secured this team’s spot in March Madness. Now it’s a matter of who and where this team gets matched with.

As always, let’s cheer on the good guys until they aren’t playing anymore. The roster can’t magically become 2014-15 Kentucky overnight, so let’s enjoy the seniors on this one.

War Damn.