BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
The 2019 Auburn Basketball Team just finished their best season ever. Auburn’s record was 30-10 with winning the SEC Basketball Tournament.
Being seeded #5 in the Midwest Regional; Auburn was ranked #11 in the preseason.
They opened the season on Nov. 2, 2018 vs Lincoln Memorial winning 78-62. Auburn played #1 Duke in the Maui Invitational in Hawaii. Auburn lost to Duke 78-72.
Despite the loss, it was a sign this team was good. Auburn’s Record Entering its SEC schedule was 12-2, and they were ranked number eleven.
Their SEC opener was at Ole Miss and lost 82-67. It was not a good start. When the regular season was over, Auburn was 11-7 and tied for fourth with South Carolina.
Auburn lost to South Carolina 80-77 in January. Because of that, Auburn was seeded fifth. Because of that, Auburn had a one game bye.
The top four seeds had a two game bye. They opened with Missouri winning 81-71. Next, they beat South Carolina 73-64, then Florida 65-62, and Tennessee for the SEC Tournament Championship.
A week earlier, Auburn beat Tennessee 84-80 in the regular season finale. Auburn could not miss from beyond the arc and scorched Tennessee 84-64.
They played four days in a row, winning the SEC Tournament. Auburn entered the Big Dance with a 26-9 record.
First up was New Mexico State winning 79-78. A missed shot at the end saved Auburn from exiting the tournament. Next, Kansas 89-75, the score was not that close. Next, Auburn beat North Carolina 97-80.
North Carolina tried to run with Auburn. It was a bad move. The Elite Eight was the best Auburn had accomplished and that was in 1986. Now is the second time.
Kentucky was the opponent. Auburn, this season, lost to Kentucky twice. Kentucky was the last team to beat Auburn. The third time was the charm.
It took overtime to do it; Auburn won 77-71. It was their first visit to the Final Four first ever. The opponent was Virginia. It was the first time for Virginia since 1984.
Auburn was six seconds away from going to the championship game. A foul on a three point shot attempt did it. Virginia made all three shots. Auburn could not get a shot off to make it to the championship game.
Auburn has nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of players are returning. We will see what happens next year.