Can Auburn Tear Down the Nets in Nashville? (Story includes how to watch SEC Tournament)
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl celebrates after Tigers beat No.5 Tennessee to end the regular season (photo: USA TODAY Sports)
When the Auburn basketball team upset No. 5 Tennessee 84–80 Saturday, it marked the most SEC wins (24) over a two-year period in school history. It not only was the first win over a top-5 opponent in 24 years, but it solidified Auburn’s position in the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season, a feat that hasn’t occurred on the Plains in 19 years.
Is there a hotter team in the league right now? Winner of their last four SEC games, Bruce Pearl’s Tigers appear to be peaking at just the right moment. The Tigers beat Georgia and Alabama on the road and took care of Mississippi State and Tennessee at home to finish 22–9 and 11–7 in the SEC.
The streak sends the Tigers into this week’s SEC Tournament in Nashville with confidence and momentum. Senior guard Bryce Brown said, “It brings a lot of confidence to the team. I feel like [Saturday] was one of our best days moving the ball. That can roll into the tournament, moving the ball like we did, making extra passes … I think that’s big for us to continue to move the ball, play defense. It just brings confidence into the SEC Tournament.”
Could it be enough to tear down the nets Sunday at Bridgestone Arena? Admittedly, that would be a tough assignment since there are some great teams in the league. But Auburn has proven it can play with the best. So, if the Tigers can continue to play at the level of the last 10 days, anything is possible.
Here’s the schedule and broadcast times for the Tourney:
Streaming: WatchESPN | Follow live: CBS Sports App
All times Eastern (some game times are approximate).
First Round—Wednesday, March 13
7 p.m. – No. 12 Missouri (5–13) vs. No. 13 Georgia(2–16), SEC Network
9:30 p.m. – No. 11 Texas A&M (6–12) vs. No. 14 Vanderbilt (0–18), SEC Network
Second Round—Thursday, March 14
1 p.m. – No. 8 Florida (9–9) vs. No. 9 Arkansas (8–10), SEC Network
3:30 p.m. – No. 5 Auburn (11–7) vs. Game 1 winner Mizzou, SEC Network
7 p.m. – No. 7 Ole Miss (10–8) vs. No. 10 Alabama (8–10), SEC Network
9:30 p.m. – No. 6 Mississippi State (10–8) vs. Game 2 winner Texas A&M, SEC Network
Quarterfinals—Friday, March 15
1 p.m. – No. 1 LSU (16–2) vs. Game 3 winner Florida, ESPN
3:30 p.m. – No. 4 South Carolina (11–7) vs. Game 4 winner No.5 Auburn, ESPN
7 p.m. – No. 2 Kentucky (15–3) vs. Game 5 winner Alabama, SEC Network
9:30 p.m. – No. 3 Tennessee (15–3) vs. Game 6 winner Miss State, SEC Network
Semifinals—Saturday, March 16
1 p.m. – Game 7 winner Florida vs. Game 8 winner Auburn, ESPN
3:30 p.m. – Game 9 winner Kentucky vs. Game 10 winner Tennessee, ESPN
SEC Tournament Championship Game—Sunday, March 17
1 p.m. – Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, ESPN