To say the first half was ugly for Auburn in terms of shooting would be to put it mildly. The Tigers were absolutely horrendous. There were bad fouls all around, and KT Harrell only played 8 minutes because of two early fouls.
The second half was just strange. The refs were just bad all around and even made some of the strangest calls I've ever seen. As someone put it to me on Twitter, it was the equivalent of the refs allowing a snap before the defense was finished substituting when LSU threw an inbound pass and got a dunk with the substitution horn still sounding.
Shortly after that was the real low point, as Jordan Granger, after being in a headlock by LSU's Jordan Mickey, threw a punch and ended up ejected. It was just a very dumb move and was a clear ejection. He threw a haymaker and then squared up his fists for more. It's a shame, as Granger was beginning to get a hot hand with two three point shots to get Auburn back in the thick of things, and he had been playing well on defense, too. His ejection today means he will be unavailable against Kentucky tomorrow, and that is definitely going to hurt Auburn's already small chances.
There was one big bright spot for the Tigers along the way. Malcolm Canada managed a number of beautiful drives to the basket for points. One was a reverse lay-in that I didn't even recognize for how good it was until I saw the highlights hours later. Bruce Pearl said last night that you could tell Canada didn't want the A&M game to be his last game. He didn't want this to be the final one, either. Malcolm played quite the game against the Purple Tigers, and was an essential piece of Auburn's ultimate victory.
With just over 9 to play, Auburn worked back to a tie game. LSU quickly jumped out to another six point lead, but Auburn clawed its way back to making this a game that came down to the final seconds. That's with KT Harrell largely absent from the shooting for much of the game.
Until he wasn't.
With 5.9 seconds on the clock and Auburn down by three, everyone in the arena knew where the ball was going. It didn't matter. Auburn worked a fantastic play call that got KT Harrell a clean look at a tre, and he DRAINED it to send the game to overtime. It was beautiful.
KT wouldn't quit. He drained two free throws to give Auburn its first lead. He pulled off a masterful steal and drove down and drained two more to give Auburn a four point lead. The rest of overtime was a scrap fest, and included a beautiful jam by Antoine Mason.
MASON JAM. https://t.co/oi3uzXwCIt— College & Magnolia (@CollegeAndMag) March 13, 2015
In the final seconds, Auburn gave LSU's Hornsby two clear looks at three and he missed both of them. KT grabbed a rebound and was fouled. He missed both, but LSU failed to convert in the final seconds.
Unreal. Auburn's SEC Tournament journey continues. The Tigers will face #1, unbeaten, Kentucky.
Be the team they do "30 For 30" specials on, Auburn. Do it.
Win the WHOLE. F^CKING. THING.