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Bracketology Update - 1/23/18

This is fun!

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

After splitting two games last week against our biggest rivals, but erasing a fourteen-point halftime deficit against Georgia on Saturday night and throwing down a huge second half, Auburn held fairly steady in the rankings. The Tigers dropped two spots in the AP Poll to #19, while they rose one spot in the Coaches’ Poll to #19.

That said, nothing really changed in terms of where Auburn’s slated to play in the NCAA Tournament. It’s so very foreign to say this, but the Tigers would have to have a monumental collapse the rest of the way to miss out on the Big Dance. SEC Network flashed a graphic on Saturday during the Georgia game that said Auburn held a 99% chance to make the tournament. That was before the game, so if anything, we will have inched up in that percentage.

Let’s see where the main guys have us at this moment.

Jerry Palm’s got Auburn as a 3-seed in the South Region, where Virginia stands as the 1-seed. Call me crazy, but this is about the best deal Auburn could get if they wanted to make a Sweet Sixteen run. The path would look this way — 14-seed William & Mary, then a date with either 6-seed Gonzaga or 11-seed USC (neither has been great this year), and you’re into the second weekend. Then it would get tough, with a likely date against 2-seed West Virginia to lead things off there. But hey, any win in the tournament would be fantastic.

Now, let’s go to the guy who actually teaches a class on Bracketology.

Auburn again checks in as a South Region team, with Virginia again getting the 1-seed. This time, the Tigers are on the top half of the bracket as a 4-seed, set for a date against East Tennessee State in the opening round. Again, this isn’t a bad draw. You may play Wichita State, who’s not having a year like they’ve been doing over the past few seasons, and then it’s in to the Sweet Sixteen, where they’d likely play Virginia. The Cavaliers have typically been tournament flameouts, because they’ll run into a team that hits fifteen threes and can score (sound familiar?). If they got knocked out on the first weekend, we’d have either Michigan or Texas A&M to face in the Sweet Sixteen. Not a bad draw at all, aside from the fact that we’d be playing in Boise for the first weekend’s games.

War Eagle!