Auburn just beat LSU in Baton Rouge for its first true road win of the season. After a terribly close loss to Alabama and a frustrating loss to Tennessee, the Good Tigers finally got over the hump. Here's three things we learned.
1. Auburn Tigers are the best Tigers
Auburn's only other conference wins are over the South Carolina Gamecocks and another team of Tigers, the ones from Missouri. But South Carolina and Missouri are probably the worst teams in the SEC right now and both wins were at home for Auburn, so the victory over the Bayou Bengals in Baton Rouge is quite an achievement.
2. Auburn played a whole 40 minutes.
Just look at that Game Flow
The game was within eight points the entire second half and the teams were never more than two possessions apart in the last ten minutes. Compare that with what happened in Tuscaloosa and Knoxville, where close games just got away from Bruce Pearl's team. And where is the characteristic scoring drought or two (or three)? No where! While we're talking about scoring, take a look at those Four Factors.
Close all around, I know. But Auburn made their free throws count, especially late. The shooting (eFG%) isn't as high as I thought it would be seeing how the final was 81-77, but that's because both teams played with pace. Auburn's games have been hovering around 60 possessions per game, but they reached 72 tonight. Both sets of Tigers made those count, but Auburn came out on top.
A. I can spell "miscellaneous" correctly on the first try without spell check.
B. The announcers had fun. Especially this guy.
Or maybe this guy just thought he was calling the last few seconds of the Final Four. Or maybe he felt something crawl across his foot and he shot out of his chair, frightened and excited but doing his best to keep the show going. Or maybe he was possessed by the devil. Or maybe he just really likes LSU.
C. This is just the next step in what we wanted when Auburn hired Bruce Pearl. We were excited when he landed at the Auburn Airport. We were excited for that scrimmage in Auburn Arena vs West Alabama. We were excited when the Tigers upset Xavier in double overtime. And though the four game losing streak wasn't much fun, we're excited again over a big conference win on the road. I can't wait to see what Bruce and his Auburn Tigers do the rest of the season.