Auburn’s Road to the Final Four Has Been Unlike Any Other Team in Tournament History
AUBURN HAS KNOCKED OFF NMSU, KANSAS, NORTH CAROLINA, AND KENTUCKY SO FAR IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Auburn Tigers have been down one of the toughest roads in the NCAA tournament.
They’ve knocked off Kansas, UNC, Kentucky and not to mention have been on a 12 game win streak that included an SEC tournament championship win, but they are still somehow labeled the underdog in this tournament.
According to ESPN’s BPI, Auburn has 20.1 percent chance of beating Virginia in the final four.
“Man we normally get like 39 or something. It’s cool man, it’s cool. We are going to feed off of it like we’ve been doing. Just stay real. We are just going to stay humble. We are just going to go out there and give it our all,” says Auburn junior forward Danjel Purifoy.
“I don’t mind being the underdog. I’ve been it my whole life, same as Jared same as J’von, Malik, Anfernee, and Horace. We are just trying to take advantage of this moment and you know they can’t continue to pick us as an underdog when we win the National Championship, so that’s our goal and thats what we are trying to get to,” says Auburn senior guard Bryce Brown.
The cinderella story has been the scope of this run for the Auburn Tigers having never been past the elite eight in program history.
Back in week 13 of the season, Auburn completely dropped out of the AP poll and questioned if they would be able to turn it around in time to make a bid for the NCAA tournament.
“Adversity means a lot I feel like adversity really does build character, so we had some adverse moments where we were real low on ourselves, but we talked about this throughout the year and one of our assistant coaches told us like hey everything is going good for y’all, but when adversity hits I want to see how everybody is going to act and that really shows how someone is when they are facing a lot of adversity,” says Auburn junior guard Samir Doughty.
While advancing to the final four brings about emotions and is a special time for this Auburn team, for head coach Bruce Pearl it’s even more meaningful having his son with him here.
“He is a better father than he is a coach for sure. He is as good as a dad as you could ask for you know and we’re in a final four so it says a lot about him,” says Auburn men’s basketball assistant coach Steven Pearl.
“Obviously to share with Steven you know knowing how hard we both have worked and the sacrifices that he made. Look Steven came to Auburn to help me do this. I couldn’t do it without him and the fact that we’ve done it together makes it all the more sweet and precious,” says Auburn men’s basketball head coach Bruce Pearl.
Auburn players are most likely getting settled into their hotel rooms right now as they go to sleep knowing that they only have two teams standing in their way of being National Champions.
Our coverage of Auburn’s run in the tournament is brought to you by Stars and Strikes and Montlick and Associates.