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SEC Basketball Schedule Released: An Early Analysis

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Auburn’s SEC Schedule is (finally) here!

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Auburn Julie Bennett-USA TODAY Sports

We are 8 weeks away from the beginning of College Basketball season. Now, you can start making your calendars for when Auburn Basketball will take the court this season.

The SEC released the schedule today for the 2020 season. In SEC play, the Tigers will play:

Home & Away: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee

Home Only: LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt

Away Only: Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi State, Missouri

Auburn released their non-conference schedule back on August 1st.

Auburn will appear on CBS 3 times in SEC play and will start on the road in the state of Mississippi once again this season.

Saturday January 4th - at Mississippi State

Time: 3:30PM

Network: SEC Network

League play starts on the first Saturday in 2020 in Starkville. The Bulldogs will have to replace Quinndary Weatherspoon who averaged 18.5 points a game last year along with Lamar Peters and Aric Holman. Guards Tyson Carter and Reggie Perry do return for Ben Howland’s group this year.

Wednesday January 8th - Vanderbilt

Time: 8:00PM

Network: SEC Network

Jerry Stackhouse will visit the Jungle for the first time as a head coach for the Commodores as Vandy will be Auburn’s SEC home opener this year on Wednesday January 8th. Saben Lee and Aaron Nesmith return for Vanderbilt and this year’s roster also features the son of NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, Scotty Pippen Jr., a talented freshman out of the prestigious Sierra Canyon High School in California. Vanderbilt has nowhere to go but up after going winless in the SEC last year, something that hadn’t been done by anyone since Georgia Tech did it in the 1953-1954 season.

Saturday January 11th - Georgia

Time: 5:00PM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

As Auburn has traditionally done the last few years, they will host Georgia early in league play, this time on Saturday January 11th. Georgia has one of the top recruits in the country in Anthony Edwards and this will likely be the only time you see him play in Auburn as he looks to be a 1-and-done player. While Nicolas Claxton left early for the NBA, expect Tom Crean’s Georgia team to be much better in Year 2 compared to Year 1.

This next week will be one of the toughest weeks on the calendar as Auburn.

Wednesday January 15th - at Alabama

Time: 8:00PM

Network: ESPN2/ESPNU

Bruce Pearl vs. Nate Oats: Round 1. Oats did well in convincing Kira Lewis Jr, John Petty and others to remain in Tuscaloosa for the upcoming season. They add talented transfer guards in James Bolden from West Virginia and (if deemed eligible) Jahvon Quinerly from Villanova. Oats simultaneously coached at Buffalo while current Auburn Athletic Director Allen Greene held the AD position at Buffalo.

Saturday January 18th - at Florida

Time: 12:30PM

Network: CBS

Like I said, this to me is arguably the toughest week on Auburn’s SEC schedule. Partially because it’s 2 road games, but they’re likely facing 2 of the league’s Top 5-6 squads this week. Right now, Florida is my pick to win the SEC as Andrew Nembhard returns for his sophomore season. Florida also has a highly touted freshmen class but their biggest addition may be Kerry Blackshear Jr., a transfer from Virginia Tech, who was one of the most sought after graduate transfers available this offseason. The Gators are a popular Preseason Top 5 team under Mike White and Auburn has not won in Gainesville since 1996.

Wednesday January 22nd - South Carolina

Time: 6:00PM

Network: ESPN2/ESPNU

Chris Silva is no longer in Columbia which is good news for Auburn fans as Silva torched the Tigers throughout his illustrious career at South Carolina. A.J. Lawson returns for his sophomore season as South Carolina returns to Auburn for the first time since Bruce Pearl and the 2017-2018 Auburn team cut down the nets to celebrate their SEC Regular Season Championship.

Saturday January 25th - Iowa State (SEC/Big 12 Challenge)

Time: TBD

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

While not an SEC game, this game falls in the middle of the league schedule and will be the first time in 4 years that Auburn has hosted the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Cyclones will feature guard Tyrese Haliburton and be another team on this year’s schedule that played in the NCAA Tournament last year.

Tuesday January 28th - at Ole Miss

Time: 8:00PM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

Auburn returns to the Magnolia State for the first of 2 games with Ole Miss on January 28th. Ole Miss surprised many last year going to the NCAA Tournament in Kermit Davis first year in Oxford. Terence Davis has graduated but Breein Tyree and Devontae Shuler return for the Rebels.

Saturday February 1st - Kentucky

Time: 5:00PM OR 7:00PM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

Auburn will host Kentucky for the 3rd straight year and 2nd straight year on a Saturday. There’s absolutely no excuse for Auburn Arena to not be jammed pack for this one. These teams will meet for the first time since...

I imagine we’ll hear about that game a time or two on the broadcast. Perhaps a College Gameday visit for the first time?

Anyways, Ashton Hagans, E.J. Montgomery, Nick Richards and Immanuel Quickley are back for Kentucky while they bring in their annual highly regarded recruiting class featuring Tyrese Maxey, Kahlil Whitney, Keion Brooks and Johnny Juzang, all top 40 recruits. In addition, they got a graduate transfer from Bucknell in Center Nate Sestina.

In addition to the significance of the game on the court, this will also be a significant game in regards to recruiting as both Auburn and Kentucky are currently battling for the same recruits right now.

Tuesday February 4th - at Arkansas

Time: 6:00PM

Network: SEC Network

Auburn will then have to put the Kentucky game behind them and travel to Fayetteville and see new coach Eric Musselman for the first time. Daniel Gafford is gone but this year is Isaiah Joe’s team. Mason Harris also returns for the Razorbacks and we’ll see how Musselman does taking over for Mike Anderson.

Saturday February 8th - LSU

Time: 11:00AM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

Last year’s Regular Season SEC Champion LSU comes to Auburn this year. Auburn beat the Bayou Bengals, Will Wade’s first LSU team by 25 in Auburn 2 years ago. Auburn lost a heartbreaker in Baton Rouge last year 83-78. Tremont Waters and Naz Reid are gone but Javonte Smart, Skylar Mays and Marlon Taylor return. They also will feature Trendon Watford, a highly regarded freshmen from Alabama, who elected to leave home and play for LSU.

Wednesday February 12th - Alabama

Time: 6:00PM

Network: ESPN2/ESPNU

It’s a pair of midweek home games this year in the Auburn/Alabama series. In the last 3 years of this series in Auburn, the Tigers have won by 20, 19, and 21 points in those 3 games.

Saturday February 15th - at Missouri

Time: 5:00PM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

This will be Cuonzo Martin’s 3rd year at Mizzou and this year, they will have to replace Jordan Geist and Jontay Porter. Jeremiah Tilmon returns along with Mark Smith. In last year’s regular season meeting, Auburn recorded the largest margin of victory (34) over an SEC opponent since the opening of Auburn Arena. Auburn also ended Missouri’s season last year with their first of 4 wins in the SEC Tournament.

Wednesday February 19th - at Georgia

Time: 6:00PM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

Auburn returns to where the magic all started for last year’s team. A 3 point win over Georgia in Athens last year was the start of a 12 game win streak that catapulted Auburn into their 1st ever Final Four. Auburn has won in back to back years in Athens and 4 straight overall in the series. Auburn hasn’t won 3 straight in Athens since winning 5 straight times there from 1976-1980.

Saturday February 22nd - Tennessee

Time: 11:00AM

Network: CBS

Auburn will face Tennessee for the first time since the SEC Championship game inside Auburn Arena. Auburn will play Tennessee twice in the team’s final 5 games.

Tuesday February 25th - Ole Miss

Time: 6:00PM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU/SEC Network

This will be Auburn’s only Tuesday night home game in SEC play. Kermit Davis had Bruce Pearl’s number last year as Ole Miss won both games against the Tigers last year. Ole Miss held Auburn to their season low in points at home when they scored just 55 in a 60-55 loss last February 13th.

Saturday February 29th - at Kentucky

Time: 2:45PM

Network: CBS

1988.

That’s the last time Auburn won at Rupp Arena in Lexington. While Ole Miss held Auburn to their season low at home, Kentucky held Auburn to their lowest point total of the year in last year’s meeting at Rupp Arena, a 80-53 Kentucky win. That game served as a turning point for the team as they didn’t lose again until they got all the way to Minneapolis.

Wednesday March 4th - Texas A&M

Time: 6:00PM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

Austin Wiley, Anfernee McLemore, Samir Doughty, Danjel Purifoy and J’Von McCormick will all play their final home games in an Auburn uniform Wednesday March 4th against Texas A&M. Buzz Williams will make his Auburn Arena debut as the new coach of the Aggies. The last time these two played in Auburn was 2 years ago when the Aggies dealt Auburn their lone home loss of the 2017-2018 season.

Saturday March 7th - Tennessee

Time: 11:00AM

Network: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU

For the 2nd straight year, Auburn will play Tennessee in their Regular Season finale. However, this time the game will be in Knoxville and I’ll be extremely interested to see what kind of reception Bruce Pearl gets there this time. A lot of things have changed since the Tigers got their first SEC win of the 2017-2018 season the last time these two teams met in Knoxville. Hopefully Auburn doesn’t have to wait another 20 years to win again in Knoxville as that was Auburn’s first win there since 1998.

With a roster and a schedule, now we can really begin the countdown to basketball season! It’s only 60 days away! War Eagle!