Bruce Pearl addresses heartbreaking Yale upset, Chad Baker-Mazara ejection

Yale v Auburn
Yale v Auburn / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Auburn was stunned during the Round of 64 in a 78-76 loss to Yale that will go down in infamy to Tiger fans the world over. With a chance to tie the game with six seconds left, Tre Donaldson missed two pivotal free-throws, and despite AU getting two offensive rebounds after, the Tigers lost a game in which they had a seven-point halftime lead and came into as 13-point favorites at the spread.

And then there was Chad Baker-Mazara's ejection just four minutes into the game...

The East Region's No. 4 seed was outplayed by the chippy No. 13 seed from the Ivy League, and Bruce Pearl acknowledged that postgame.

"Give Yale credit, they played great," Pearl said (h/t Yale Daily News). "Beat us in a lot of categories."

Pearl was visibly upset talking about a team he saw doing much more than winning the SEC Tournament and parlaying that momentum into one of March Madness's most shocking first weekend results.

"This was a team that our fans liked as much as any of the ones we've had in my 10 years at Auburn... Our fans loved this team," Pearl said (h/t The Auburn Observer's Justin Ferguson). "They loved our energy and our emotion."

Bruce Pearl talks Chad Baker-Mazara's ejection during opening minutes

Pearl refused to undersell Baker-Mazara's ejection before the game hit the five-minute mark, calling his absence "disruptive" on both ends of the floor.

"Chad is one of our best players," Pearl said (h/t The Next Round). "He's one of our very best lose him in that situation was really really disruptive to our team on both ends of the floor."

At the end of the day, an SEC Tournament Championship banner will be raised. This season will not be lost in history. If anything, Yale and Alabama fans, not to mention other SEC fanbases and really any program AU plays in the future, will refuse to let it be.

It's hard to see the light now, but Pearl has this program in a position to recover and reload in the offseason. Because Auburn basketball is a certified brand now.

And certified brands sometimes take unfathomable losses in March Madness. Just ask Duke and Kentucky.