We are a little more than 2 months away from Selection Sunday but I thought it would be good to begin to get an idea of what to expect in March! Auburn has set themselves up for a good seed and hopefully a chance to play closer to home earlier in the tournament.
The 8 sites for the 1st 2 Rounds are:
Albany, New York
Greensboro, North Carolina
St. Louis, Missouri
The Regional Sites this year are:
East - Madison Square Garden, New York City
South - Toyota Center, Houston
Midwest - Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
West - Staples Center, Los Angeles
Final Four - Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
15-20K Auburn fans made the trip to Minneapolis last year so if Auburn can make another run to the Final Four, Tiger fans would without question take over Atlanta that weekend.
But let’s look at a few predictions from expert bracketologists:
This is... BRACKETOLOGY.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi (1/10)
#2 Seed - Midwest Region vs. Winthrop - Tampa, Florida
Potential 2nd Round Opponent: #7 Creighton or #10 Virginia
Winthrop, out of the Big South, played Duke tough earlier this season but let’s be honest, you all guys saw Virginia first and I’m sure almost every single Auburn fan would love nothing more than to play those guys again. I know I would.
CBS Sports - Jerry Palm (1/10)
#3 Seed - Midwest Region vs. Stony Brook - Greensboro, North Carolina
Potential 2nd Round Opponent: #6 Creighton vs. #11 Liberty
Stony Brook is listed here now but I would expect Vermont to be the America East Champion. Greensboro is 7 hours from Auburn, similar to the distance from Auburn to Tampa but compared to the last 2 years, this would be a massive upgrade. It’s the second time seeing Creighton as a possible matchup in the 2nd Round so there’s potential we may actually see this matchup.
Fox Sports - Mike Decourcy (1/10)
#1 Seed - South Region vs. Florida Atlantic
Potential 2nd Round Opponent: #8 Indiana or #9 BYU
The last time Auburn started 14-0 was 1998-1999 when they started 17-0. That team was a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. While FOX doesn’t put in locations, I would imagine that this would be in Tampa with the South Regional taking place in Houston. Indiana is an up and down team and I would fear BYU in this scenario. TJ Haws is uncanny at making shots in clutch situations and seeing a scorer and veteran like Haws go up against Okoro would be a great matchup.