Auburn missing two key pieces early in NCAA Tournament after injury and ejection: Latest updates

Auburn is down a crucial piece and crucial March Madness experience against Yale after a flagrant 2 foul on Chad Baker-Mazara.

Auburn guard Chad Baker-Mazara (10)
Auburn guard Chad Baker-Mazara (10) / Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA

Just two minutes and 37 seconds in their tournament run, the Auburn Tigers were already shorthanded. Senior forward and the winningest player in program history Jaylin Williams rolled his ankle while contesting a floater from Yale’s August Mahoney. 

To literally add insult to injury, Williams fouled Mahoney on the play. Williams quickly exited down the tunnel to seek treatment and during a stoppage in play returned to the Auburn bench for a fresh tape job on that ankle. Williams has since returned to the game, and though not 100% will finish out the game. 

The bigger issue for the Tigers is the reason for the stoppage that allowed Williams to return to the floor without missing much game time. On the very next play after the free throw, Auburn’s Chad Baker-Mazara was ejected for delivering an elbow to Yale’s Mahoney as KD Johnson converted a transition layup down the other end. 

Baker-Mazara was tabbed with a flagrant 2 foul which was upheld after replay. Auburn hasn’t made it past the first weekend of the tournament since 2019, so Bruce Pearl’s team was going to lean heavily on Baker-Mazara’s Final Foul experience from a season ago with San Diego State.

The junior transfer is Auburn’s third-leading scorer, averaging 10.3 points per game, and at 6-foot-7 provided crucial length on the wing for the Tigers. The fourth-seeded Tigers are heavily favored against the No. 13 seed, Yale Bulldogs. 

Baker-Mazara got busy on social media after making his way back to the locker room, first tweeting, “Lmao yall lame” before deleting it and replacing it with a word of support for his teammates. 

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