Auburn basketball: Tigers drop out of Puerto Rico Tip-Off

USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers would have faced stout competition in the early-season tournament.

The Auburn men's basketball team has decided to withdraw from the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The news that the Tigers will be replaced by Northeastern was first reported by al.com's Brandon Marcello.

Auburn hasn't commented on the scheduling change, but an individual with knowledge of the move said it was the Tigers' decision, pointing to the tough competition as the primary reason. The person requested anonymity because neither Auburn nor officials at the tournament have given word on why the swap was made.

Coming off a 9-22 campaign in head coach Tony Barbee's third season, wins will be at a premium in 2013-14. They would have been tough to come by in Puerto Rico, as in addition to Northeastern, the field includes Michigan, Georgetown, Kansas State, VCU, Florida State, Charlotte and Long Beach State. The Wolverines were national runners-up in April's NCAA Tournament, and the Hoyas, Wildcats and Rams all made the field of 68. FSU, Charlotte, LBSU and Northeastern all participated in the postseason NIT.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs recently stated that Barbee "has got to produce" in Year 4, and with his job seemingly in the balance, the head coach likely couldn't afford to risk starting the season in a hole and bruising his team's confidence.

2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off field
Team 2012-13 record Postseason result
Michigan 31-8 National runner-up
Georgetown 25-7 NCAA second round
Kansas State 27-8 NCAA second round
VCU 27-9 NCAA third round
Florida State 18-16 NIT first round
Charlotte 21-12 NIT first round
Long Beach State 19-14 NIT first round
Northeastern 20-13 NIT first round

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