It’s Selection Sunday, and for the first time in fifteen years, Auburn WILL hear its name called later today. The Tigers will break one of the longest tournament-less streaks in the country, and will almost assuredly be a top-four seed in whichever region they’re assigned.
The stretch run of the regular season wasn’t as magical as the first three-quarters of the conference schedule, but Auburn still earned a regular season SEC championship. Despite the loss to Alabama in the SEC Tournament, the Tigers will still be seeded pretty highly and should have plenty of time to fully rest up before needing to hit the court again either next Thursday or Friday for the first game.
Let’s see where the final projections have Auburn as we await the real reveal later on today.
After putting Auburn as the 4-seed in the South Region yesterday against 13-seed UNC-Greensboro, Palm now has Auburn playing Marshall in the opening round. The Thundering Herd won the C-USA Tournament and will be heading to their first NCAA Tournament since 1987. Auburn already beat Middle Tennessee, who was the 1-seed in the C-USA Tournament, and if this holds up, they’d have a chance to take down another team out of that conference. With a win, the Tigers would play the winner of the 5-12 matchup between Ohio State and South Dakota State. Sadly, a drop to the 4-seed would eliminate any sort of home court advantage that Auburn could create, since these games would be played in San Diego, as opposed to the Nashville/Dallas projections we saw when the Tigers were said to be a 2 or 3-seed.
As for Joe Lunardi’s latest projection, he does indeed have Auburn in Dallas, and still as a 3-seed. Lunardi says that Auburn would end up in the Midwest Region in a first round matchup with 14-seed Wright State, who won the Horizon League Tournament earlier this week. If the Tigers can take down the Raiders, they’d be in position for a meeting with the winner of Houston/Loyola-Chicago in the 6-11 game. Houston’s in today’s AAC Championship Game, and with a win could end up as a higher seed, so that may still be in flux.
So, of the two main bracket predictors, there are two very different seeds, locations, and opponents. I think most Auburn fans would like to have the game in Dallas as a 3-seed, especially since Marshall has been playing really good basketball as of late. Wright State should be a fairly easy opponent, as the Raiders have losses to Miami (OH), Cleveland State, Murray State, Milwaukee, and IUPUI. Four of those five teams have an RPI ranked worse than 150th.
Several hours remain until the official bracket reveal, so how can you watch live? Obviously, CBS used to be the place, but this year it’ll be live on TBS. They’re also doing it a little differently here in 2018, as they’ll reveal every team that made the NCAA Tournament right off the bat, then they’ll parse out the brackets and show you where everyone’s heading.
HOW TO WATCH - NCAA Tournament Selection Show - 5:00 pm CST
Stream: March Madness Live