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A Rough Matchup Ahead

By on March 15th, 2019 in Basketball 97 Comments »

This should be a physical game, and I like having Horace Spencer on our side!

     War Eagle, everybody! This afternoon, Auburn will play its second game in the SEC Basketball Tournament against the #4 seed South Carolina Gamecocks. Auburn advanced after defeating Missouri yesterday afternoon, 81–71. It was a fist-fight of a game, and Auburn’s bench really came through and preserved the victory.

     If yesterday’s game is any indication, officials aren’t calling many fouls in this tournament. There was lots of hard contact that wasn’t called. I remember in the 2nd half seeing Bryce Brown get elbowed to the deck on back to back plays with no calls. I fully expect South Carolina to try to feed big man Chris Silva the ball in the paint, and elbows will be flying. Auburn will need quality defense from Chuma Okeke, Anfernee McLemore and Horace Spencer against Silva.

     When these two teams met earlier this season, the officials were a major factor. The Gamecocks were able to mug Auburn shooters with impunity. Meanwhile, if McLemore or Spencer even breathed on Silva, a foul was called. Spencer and McLemore both got in foul trouble, and Silva went off for 32 points in an 80–77 win in Columbia. Even as poorly as Auburn played on defense, the team had a chance to tie it in the waning seconds, but a 3 pointer went in and out, and Auburn lost.

     The key to beating South Carolina is to shut Chris Silva down. Two weeks ago, Missouri got Silva in foul trouble, he only played 15 minutes, and Missouri beat South Carolina by 15 points. Much like Auburn, South Carolina has some shooting guards to contend with. A. J. Lawson is 2nd on the team in scoring and likes to light it up from long range. He sat out the last 3 games of the season with an ankle injury but has practiced leading up to this game. If Lawson can’t go, the Gamecocks use Hassani Gravett. Gravett is averaging 41 percent on 3-point shots.

     If thise game does have fouls being called regularly, Auburn has a big depth advantage. Players off the bench were key in the win over Missouri. Horace Spencer had a double-double, and was a force in the paint on both ends. Malik Dunbar had quality minutes underneath the basket, as well. When point guard Jared Harper had an off night, Auburn got good quality point play from J’Von McCormick. Danjel Purifoy came in late, hit a couple of 3 pointers, and really hustled for key rebounds.

     Another key for Auburn is to get Bryce Brown going early. Brown had no points in the first half against Missouri, but his 3-point shooting in the second half really allowed Auburn to pull away. Every time Mizzou made a little run, there was Brown to throw down another 3.

     Normally, you’d expect South Carolina to be the fresher team, having had byes through the first two days of the tournament while Auburn had a physical opener. However, Auburn routinely gives nine different players significant minutes without sacrificing much of anything regarding the level of play on the floor. Bryce Brown had 35 minutes last night, but no one else on the team had more than the 27 minutes posted by Jared Harper. Plus, Auburn knocked the rust off last night and should be able to play fast and loose this afternoon.

     Was it just me, or did those rims yesterday seem rattley and loose? I believe that favors teams that like outside shots. A stiff rim seems to kick balls out, whereas a loose rim will give when hit, and balls slip over and in. Here’s hoping the folks putting on this event in Nashville don’t find their wrenches before the tournament is over! War Eagle!


  1. Jason Wright says:

    Time for some payback. Lets send Carolina packing!

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Not a great start. Lotta missed shots. Tigers trail 5-3, with one bomb from Jared Harper. Auburn has forced several turnovers, and they’ve already fouled Silva twice.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Rough start, indeed. But, an explosion of turnovers and Auburn points, and they have to call time. 26-24 Auburn, with 4:30 left in the half!

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..It is halftime, all tied up at 36, thanks to a late 3 pointer from Danjel Purifoy!

  5. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Auburn really should be ahead. There was a bad goaltending call that gave Carolina 2 points, and the replay showed the ball was nowhere near the cylinder or backboard. And then Carolina got by with blatant basket interference on their last bucket.

  6. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Okeke now has 4 fouls, with 12 minutes left in the game. Auburn clings to a 49-47 lead. Cold shooting by the Tigers.

  7. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Auburn has bricked the last 7 three point attempts.

  8. …..Defense is keeping Auburn in it. That, and Harper driving the lane and getting fouled. 55-52 Auburn. Stone cold shooting.

  9. …..Harper now has 23 points. Having a crazy-good game, rocketing up the floor. He’s also playing the post on defense, against Silva. Using a 1-3-1 zone-press, and making Carolina really uncomfortable handling the ball. The Gamecocks have hung around by making the occasional 3 point shot.

  10. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Carolina is having a difficult time even getting the ball to Silva. Auburn can leap, so you can’t throw the ball in high. If you go low, Harper is way too quick. It’s a strategy I would never have guessed on, but it’s working, thus far.

  11. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Purifoy with the THREEE! 60-54!

  12. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Spencer buries a three!

  13. …..And Auburn takes it away, leading 63-56!

  14. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..We have about 4 minutes left. Auburn leads, 66-59, but USC will go to the line for a 1 and 1. Purifoy with a couple of quick fouls, filling in for the Benched Chuma Okeke, who has 4 fouls.

  15. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Silva has missed the front end of two one-and-ones. South Carolina calls timeout.

  16. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Harper fouled again, and bags both free throws. 69-59 Auburn, 2:54 remains!

  17. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Bryant with a 3, to keep the Gamecocks in the game. Timeout Auburn, their second. 69-62.

  18. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Foot on the line, take a point off. 69-61.

  19. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Fouled Harper again, 2:14 left.

  20. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Free throws are both good, 71-61!

  21. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..and an offensive foul!

  22. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Running clock. Alley oop pass Okeke with the dunk!

  23. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Silva at the line, 1:13 remains, bricked another free throw! 73-61 Auburn.

  24. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Harper threw it away with a behind the back pass, 44 seconds left.

  25. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..3 pointer no good. Silva rebounds, REJECTED! Then Auburn turns it over. Won’t matter.

  26. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Tigers run out the clock, after a USCe 3. Final, Auburn 73, South Carolina 64! WAR EAGLE!!!!!

  27. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Auburn’s bench outscored Carolina’s, 23-2. That is a telling stat! Samir Doughty led the way with 10 off the bench.

  28. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I am thinking of putting up an open thread for tomorrow afternoon’s semi-final with Florida. I did not, today, because I spent the whole first half and part of the second in the kitchen cooking and prepping. Wasn’t going to be able to do a thread justice. Anyone interested?

    …..I am astounded at how well the Auburn tournament schedule has gone, for this night shift guy. I slept through half the MIzzou game, because I read the start time wrong. I figure I read an Eastern Time start of 3:30, and it actually started at 2:30. I was off for today’s matchup, and will be able to watch Saturday before going to work Saturday night. If Auburn makes the final, I’ll set an alarm to get up Sunday afternoon and watch it, before going into work Sunday night. War Eagle!

  29. HillTopPlainsman says:

    Thanks for running a thread Acid. I had to work so it was good to come home and read your recap. Hope we can keep it going against LSU. War Eagle!

  30. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..LSU is gone. We get Florida, tomorrow, and either Kentucky or Bama, if we win against the Gators.

  31. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    I had to work too but I taped it and read Acid’s thread before watching the game. This team has certainly been entertaining. Would love to see an Auburn – Bama Final and have our Tigers rip there heart out.

  32. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Yess! I really enjoyed the Bama finale a couple of weeks ago. I geared up to watch the game on an off-night, and ended up sleeping through most of it. I suppose I need to sub back in the hard-backed chair in my computer lair, that I’ve spent most of my adult life with. In my nice reclining, padded office chair, I can and will fall asleep in a heartbeat!

    …..I dozed off with Alabama leading something like 19-2, or thereabouts. Woke up, and it was 60-60 late. Bama TWICE let Jared Harper go coast to coast, and lay it in. Then Doughty stole the ball at midcourt, was fouled, and hit the free throws. Auburn decked Bama in Coleman Coliseum, and it was delicious!

  33. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    Been on the road and just got in and read the thread Acid. I always enjoy your paly-by-plays. Exciting time for Auburn Basketball. Here’s to hoping they cut the nets down Sunday in Bridgestone Arena!

  34. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    Well, well, well. Auburn can win again!
    Beat Florida!!!

  35. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I’m getting a late start, today. Just like Auburn! Tigers trail the Gators, 34-30 at the half. Much like yesterday, the team is being carried on the back of Jared Harper, who has 16 points at the break.

  36. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Hudson hits all 3 free throws on a bad call, and Florida has tied Auburn at 47, with 12:30 left in the game.

  37. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..On the other end, Bryce Brown gets mugged, and no call.

  38. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..A LONG scoring drought broke, on a layup by Doughty! 49-47 Auburn, with 8 minutes left.

  39. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Florida is looking worn down. Meanwhile, Auburn has pushed out to a 51-47 lead, with mostly backups in the game!

  40. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Largest Auburn lead of the game, 57-49, after a 3 by Brown!

  41. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Suddenly, Auburn cannot block out! Florida with about 4 back to back offensive rebounds, and they have cut the Auburn lead to one, 61-60. Just under a minute remaining, and Auburn turns it over again!

  42. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Harper runs the clock way down, then Buries a 3, with 10 seconds left, 64-60, Tigers!

  43. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Coast to coast layup for Hudson, 64-62, with 7 seconds left. Auburn will inbound, after a timeout.

  44. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Full court press by the Gators. Okeke has to call timeout, without passing the ball in. Auburn has 2 timeouts left, Florida is out.

  45. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Here we go. Okeke to Harper, and he’s fouled with 6 seconds left. Auburn is in the bonus, Harper will shoot a one and one.

  46. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Harper hits!

  47. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Second shot is missed, Florida’s three is blocked, and the game is over! Auburn wins, 65-62!

  48. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Tennessee has just defeated Kentucky, 82-78. Auburn will play the Vols in the final, at noon on Sunday!

  49. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..A bit late waking up on Championship Sunday, but what fun! Auburn is up 22-18 over Tennessee, with 7 minutes left in the half!

  50. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Tennessee has to call time, with 5:06 left in the first half! Auburn leads, 27-18, and they are just picking the Vol pockets, and Harper and Brown aren’t even on the court! Backups doing the damage!

  51. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Last 8 UT possessions, 0 points, 6 turnovers.

  52. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Timeout Tennessee, with about 4 minutes left. It’s 30-18 Auburn, and Spencer will go to the line for a one and one, after a big slate of TV commercials!

  53. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Tennessee breaks the drought, picking Okeke’s pocket in the lane. 31-18 Auburn, with 2:52 left in the half.

  54. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Okeke breaks an Auburn drought, with the front end of a one and one. 47 seconds left in the half.

  55. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..32-21 Auburn, and another steal!

  56. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Playing for the last shot. McCormick running the offense. And no. UT gets a fast break layup, and it is halftime. Auburn leads, 32-23.

  57. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Auburn is not even shooting all that well. 5 of 20 on 3-point attempts. Relentless pressure on defense has really disrupted UT. They have 12 turnovers, to just 3 for Auburn. Can Auburn keep up the pressure in the second half?

  58. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Teams trading 3’s! Auburn on the run, Dunbar buries one! 41-28 Auburn, 16 minutes left!

  59. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….BROWWWWNNN! Auburn is up by 21, raining threes on the Vols!

  60. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..12 and a half left, and Auburn is up 54-32. Turnovers continue, for the Vols!

  61. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Can this hold up? We are less than 12 minutes left in the game, and Auburn is running UT out of the gym, 54-34!

  62. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Wiley with the putback, AND fouled! 56-34!

  63. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..A T on Auburn, after a hook and hold BS call. They missed the free throw. Auburn leads, 57-38, with 11:09 left.

  64. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Jump-roll bank shot by Spencer, good! And a steal, AND a THREE, by Purifoy! Auburn is up, 62-40!

  65. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Lead is shrinking. Back to back Auburn turnovers.

  66. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..It is 68-50, Auburn’s way, 7 minutes left!

  67. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Neither team can miss! 68-53. Harper trying to slow it down under a full court press.

  68. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Layup Okeke! 72-53 Auburn, with 5:40 left!

  69. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Dunbar drives hard, fouled hard, and he’s had a brutal game. Goes to the line.

  70. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..First shot rims out. Second… Good! Auburn leads, 72-58 with 4:18 left.

  71. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Correction, 73-57!

  72. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..And Harper is fouled! Timeout Tennessee, hopes fading. Harper will shoot a one ‘n’ one, when we return.

  73. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Harper, can give Auburn an 18-point lead, late. DOES! 3:52 left!

  74. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Harper fouled again. Auburn leads, 75-57, with 2:34 left. IN the bonus.

  75. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Harper is MONEY! Both free throws good, and Auburn is up by 20!

  76. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..UT has to foul. We’ll get a war of attrition, from this point forward. Doughty at the line… GOOD!

  77. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Doughty good again! Lead is 20 points!

  78. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Steal, over and back for UT? I think that goes back to UT on the scrum.

  79. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Under two minutes. Aubur up 79-59, and Harper is called for a foul. UT will inbound.

  80. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..They hit a 3, but then foul Harper going the other way. Harper…

  81. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Money on both free throws! Auburn leads, 81-62, with 1:33 left!

  82. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..The UT player’s toe was on the line, refs? Geh.

  83. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Auburn is a couple of minutes away, from an SEC basketball championship!

  84. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..HARPER for THREE!

  85. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Rebound Brown, and Auburn is running it out!

  86. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….It IS OVER!! Auburn beats Tennessee, 84-64!!!!!!! SEC Champs!

  87. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..What a 4-day run, by these players! SEC Champions! I am so glad I did not miss this!

  88. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Overcome with emotion! This is just the second time in my lifetime, that Auburn has won the SEC tournament! I am so proud of these guys! It was a team win. Auburn depth won out!

  89. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    What great vindication for Auburn in taking a chance on Bruce Pearl! He’s done a magnificent job to make Auburn basketball something to be proud of.

  90. AUTigerinBR says:

    War Eagle! Great to see the team’s hard work get rewarded. Cannot wait to see them in the tournament.

  91. audad says:

    Acid, great running commentary. The game was a pleasure to watch. This team came to prove something today, and they did. When they play with that type of tenacity at both ends, they are hard to beat. Unfortunately, NCAA selection committee must not have watched any of it. The 5 seed given to Auburn in the Midwest region is a total sham. They were projected as having already moved up to a 5 going into today’s game, and then they blow out TN on a neutral floor (actually more like a TN home game) and get no benefit from it??!! Makes no sense. And how can Miss. State possibly get the same seed level as Auburn? Obviously there is always controversy every year, but certainly to me one of the biggest mysteries of this year is what they did to Auburn.

  92. Jason Wright says:

    NCAA selection is Total uterally b*******t!!!

  93. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    What a brutal draw Auburn got. Placed as 5 seed in Midwestern, they have to beat a 30-win New Mexico State in round one then Kansas, UNC, Kentucky to get to the final four …. No respect!

  94. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    Selection Committee must be mad that Auburn won instead of Kentucky or LSU.

  95. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..It was a small miracle that I was able to watch at least part of every SEC tournament game! Had Thursday and Friday night off, and that really helped.

    …..I’ll be in good shape for game one in Utah. I work Thursday night, but that one will tip off noonish, and be long over before I have to depart. Not sure, after that.