Honestly? I say yes. Defeating Kentucky likely locked in the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament.
Before tonight's victory over the Wilcats, the Tigers were already projected by D1Baseball.com as the #3 team in the Houston Regional. With an RPI of 22, the Tigers were already in good shape. That projection before the game tonight was a big indication that things were looking good for Auburn.
A loss to Kentucky could possibly have knocked the Tigers out of contention, but given that Auburn didn't need a big run in the SEC Tournament for a chance to make the field, winning this game certainly put the odds to a virtual guarantee.
Kentucky is not completely eliminated from the Tournament discussion, either, but with their RPI being much lower than Auburn at 56 and now with the loss tonight, it's impossible to see the Wildcats being chosen over the Tigers. This game was being considered by many as a play-in (though for Auburn it wasn't as big a deal), and with that in mind, I would say that this win makes the Tigers a lock for an NCAA Regional.
Could Auburn's stock improve? Very possibly. The Tigers will now face #1 LSU. A victory over the Other Tigers could possibly push the Tigers up. It's just a matter of where the Tigers will get sent now, though. Being swept by Alabama and losing the final series of the year to Florida killed any chance the Tigers had of hosting.
With tonight's game over, though, let's give a tip of the hat to the awesome job Cole Lipscomb has done this season. If you told me Keegan Thompson wouldn't pitch in the second half of the SEC season back in March, I would have told you there's no way Auburn is where they are right now. Cole Lipscomb has really stepped up to be the reliable starter in Keegan's place. Hopefully we get them both back and healthy, next season. But for now I hope we can ride Cole and the rest of the pitching staff into a successful run into the NCAA Tournament.