Welcome back to Bracketology!!!! Auburn sits in much better shape than the last time we did this and it was well past time to give you all an update. Personally right now, I see Auburn as 6/7 seed if the field were selected today. According to the bracketology experts, here’s what it’s looking like going into the final weekend of the Regular Season!
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi (3/8)
#6 Seed - Midwest Region vs. Ohio State - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Potential 2nd Round Opponent: #3 Texas Tech or #14 Georgia Southern
Auburn has moved up to a 6 seed in most brackets and sign me up for this matchup. The Buckeyes struggle on offense and their best player is currently suspended and they’ve looked terrible without him getting blown out at last place Northwestern on Wednesday night. The 2nd Round matchup with Texas Tech is extremely interesting. They have a ton of veterans on their team and play phenomenal team defense. This would be a low scoring slugfest if it were to come to fruition.
USA Today (3/8)
#7 Seed - Midwest Region vs. Minnesota - Columbus, Ohio
Potential 2nd Round Opponent: #2 North Carolina or #15 Wright State
This would be an interesting 1st Round Matchup. The Gophers have flown under the radar a bit but just knocked off Purdue that gets them on the right side of the bubble for now. They’ve played most of the best teams in the Big 10 close and are led by guard Amir Coffey (15.8 ppg) and Jordan Murphy (14.7 ppg).
But I want to talk about this 2nd Round Matchup possibility: Pretty much every other projection I’ve seen sends North Carolina to Jacksonville. Here, you would send UNC to Columbus to play a team that would be an hour away from home as Wright State is from nearby Dayton, Ohio. UNC is 3rd in the country averaging over 86 points a game this year so this could be a high-scoring, fast-paced matchup that would play into Auburn’s strengths, if they make their 3s. Coby White has become a star for the Tar Heels and seeing him go up against Jared Harper would be a great 2nd round matchup. But the Tar Heels have stars all over the court including forwards Luke Maye, Cameron Johnson, and Auburn High’s own Garrison Brooks. This would be a really difficult matchup for Auburn but one I would love to see.
CBS Sports (3/8)
#8 Seed - South Region vs. Oklahoma - Columbia, South Carolina
Potential 2nd Round Opponent: #1 Duke or #16 Campbell
I’ll respectfully disagree with this. I think Auburn’s played their way out of an 8-9 game.
Jerry Palm and Andy Katz continue to be the 2 guys that have Auburn lower than everyone else. I like the first round matchup against Oklahoma and depending on the status of Zion Williamson, if he’s not back and healthy, another matchup with Duke wouldn’t be as daunting if Zion is unavailable. RJ Barrett is a phenomenal player but the Blue Devils become solely dependent on him at times and they’ve struggled without Zion as a result. While I think Zion is back for the ACC Tournament next week, it’s something to keep in the back of your mind if Auburn gets paired with Duke again. Hopefully not though.
The Athletic (3/8)
#7 Seed - West Region vs. Utah State - Des Moines, Iowa
Potential 2nd Round Opponent: #2 Michigan State or #15 Texas State
Utah State is really good. They knocked off Nevada last weekend and will at least share the Mountain West title depending on what Nevada does in the final game tomorrow. Despite all the starpower at Nevada, Utah State’s Sam Merrill might be the best player in the Mountain West. The guard is averaging 21 points a game, shoots 39% from 3 and is a 90% free throw shooter. The Aggies would be no slouch for Auburn in the First Round. A potential 2nd Round matchup with Sparty would be interesting, as they’ve dealt with injuries this year but Cassius Winston is one of the best guards in America and him vs. Jared Harper would be a matchup worth watching.
Fox Sports (3/7)
#5 Seed - East Region vs. TCU/North Carolina State
Potential 2nd Round Opponent: #4 Purdue or #13 Hofstra
Look at Howie Schwab giving Auburn some love here with a 5 seed!
I don’t like the possibility of playing N.C. State again but they haven’t been drilling 3s the way they did against Auburn back on December 19th and Auburn’s the only good win the Wolfpack have this year. TCU has struggled lately as well so I like Auburn’s chances in this game.
While it would be likely we would meet Purdue in Round 2, don’t discount Hofstra as they have one of the country’s best players in Justin Wright-Foreman, averaging 26.8 points a game and shoots 44.3% from 3. If Purdue wins, it would be Jared Harper/Bryce Brown vs. Carsen Edwards averaging 23.4 points a game this year. Either way, this would be a great guard matchup as well.
And there you have it! We’ll probably look at this again before the SEC Tournament starts either next Thursday or Friday for Auburn.