Auburn vs. Georgia Could Have Big Impact on Tigers’ Postseason Destination
Jared Harper will lead the Tigers in crucial road game against Georgia tonight. (photo: Auburn Athletics)
In a season filled with big games, the Auburn men’s basketball team faces another must win tonight at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia. The preseason goal of winning back-to-back conference championships has evaporated, yet the Tigers are still in contention for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The outcomes of the next 10 days will determine whether Auburn plays in the NCAA or the NIT. The Tigers (18–9, 7–7) have four games left and cannot afford to take any team lightly. Not even the Bulldogs, who are a paltry 10–17 and 1–13 in SEC play.
While its record looks bad, Georgia still has the potential to beat SEC competition. The Bulldogs lost a close one at LSU (83–79) and dropped one-point games to Ole Miss and Mississippi State. And, of course, the Dogs are playing at home and will have a lot of motivation to upset their oldest rival.
Once again the Tigers will probably be without big man Austin Wiley, who aggravated his leg injury against Kentucky. It’s the third time this year the center has been sidelined with the injury. In fact he’s missed at least a month of playing time and hasn’t been 100 percent since early January.
The Georgia game will be followed by a home game against Mississippi State, a road trip to Alabama and the season finale in the Auburn Arena against Tennessee. The Tigers need to win at least three of the four to finish above .500 in conference play and have a good chance for an invitation to the Big Dance.
Despite the embarrassing loss last week in Kentucky, this writer believes they can accomplish the feat. In fact, all four games are winnable, but it will take good defense and being hot with the 3 shot.
If that happens, it will make for an exciting finish, giving Auburn momentum heading into the SEC Tournament. But first the Tigers must beat the Bulldogs. Tip off is at 8:00 CT on ESPNU.
Go Tigers …