Thursday , April 18 2024

Will the Auburn Tigers make the NCAA Tournament? Breaking down March Madness 2024 odds

The Auburn Tigers have been among the best teams in a stacked SEC as they are tied with the South Carolina Gamecocks for third place in the conference entering play on Wednesday. The No.11-ranked Tigers are 21-6 this season, and 10-4 in SEC play. They will visit the No.4-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, who are tied for the conference lead and just 1.0 game ahead of Auburn, on Wednesday.

While the Tigers will have the opportunity to pull into a tie with the Volunteers, they will have the easiest remaining schedule of the teams in position to finish the regular season atop the SEC. Take a look at Auburn’s chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament.

Will the Auburn Tigers make the NCAA Tournament?

The Auburn Tigers appear to be a lock to reach the NCAA Tournament, barring a late season collapse. The Tigers have spent the entire calendar year ranked and do not have a tough regular season schedule down the stretch. If they are able to defeat the No.4-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, Auburn will presumably enter the top-ten of the AP Top 25 Poll next week.

While their performance in the SEC Tournament will likely dictate their final postseason seeding, the Tigers are in line to reach the postseason for the third consecutive season. The only way they would be in position to miss out on March Madness would be if they lost out and were eliminated in their first conference tournament game. Even then, however, Auburn would likely be a bubble team.

Paul Finebaum praises Bruce Pearl for turning Auburn Tigers around

Bruce Pearl is now in his tenth season leading the Auburn Tigers after a controversial exit from the Tennessee Volunteers. Paul Finebaum praised the head coach during a recent appearance on McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning, stating:

“The program has had waves of success. Sonny Smith in the 80s, Cliff Ellis. But Auburn was never consistent and something always went wrong. When they went after Bruce Pearl, and it’s been I think about exactly 10 years, They made a statement and it was controversial. Bruce Pearl was out of the game. It was serving out a show cause, the school needed to go to the commissioner for permission. And even then everyone wasn’t sure.”

He continued:

“But they not only took a chance and were quickly rewarded, but then they made sure he stayed. Because after a couple of years, Bruce Pearl could have gone to a lot of places but the school doubled down, they built a new arena and they made a statement. I think that’s why Auburn has one of the most consistent basketball programs and one of the best in the country right now.” [h/t On3 Sports]

While Pearl has been targeted by other programs, he has remained committed to the Tigers. He led them to their only Final Four in program history in 2018-19.

Edited by Caleb Gebrewold

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