Losing hurts, and it isn't supposed to be fun.
Auburn fans probably had their stomachs drop a little when the final shot at the buzzer in last night's men's basketball game against the Arkansas Razorbacks went off the rim. We don't know if we could have gone into overtime and won that game. We do know one thing, though: These boys are fighters and are turning into a team before our eyes. They are not going to give up and we should not give up on them as fans.
At the beginning of the season, this team went on the road against Seton Hall and got run out of the building by a score of 81-59. That Seton Hall team is now 15-5, by the way.
We saw them go to Florida State (14-6) and get run out of the building again, 85-56. The lone road win for this Auburn team is against Hawai'i at the Diamond Head Classic.
During the last couple of road games, however, there has been a new Auburn team playing. It is a team playing tenacious defense. It is a team that does not panic when the other team goes on a run. Are the games pretty? Not necessarily. But this team is almost there for the road games, and dare I say it, this team has arrived as a home team.
There were stretches of the Ole Miss game a couple of weeks ago that were very business like. Auburn played the entire game against South Carolina knowing it was the better team and expected to win. The fans are showing up and providing much needed support to our team. Auburn will be a tough out at home for the remainder of the year.
But back to the original point: This team will eventually learn to win on the road. It is easier said than done. They took on an Arkansas team that hasn't lost all year at home and that had just beaten Michigan, the #15 team in the country.
Last year, we saw Auburn become a team at the end of the season, and it was fun to watch. It's happening a little earlier this year. Enjoy watching this team grow up whether we win or lose. They are laying the foundation for the rest of the year and the for next few years. Losses like the one last night are not easy for them or us but the last couple of road game losses will galvanize this team. Eventually, we will get the bounces we need to get a win on the road.
Auburn is going to Tennessee on Saturday hungry for a road win. I can't say for certain we are going to come away with a W but I can say that I can finally expect a hard fought game and these boys to play until the final whistle.