Auburn Tigers 25-7 (13-5 SEC)
For the first time since 2003 the Tigers are going dancing in March! Despite the predictions and all the adversity, the Tigers snagged a #4 Seed after clinching the SEC Championship in the regular season. Auburn will start the tournament off with #13 Charleston. The College of Charleston won the Colonial conference and despite having a nearly identical record at 26-7, they play a completely different type of basketball.
Auburn has excelled in playing at a break neck pace which keeps teams tired and leads to plenty of turnovers. Charleston slows down the game tremendously and takes a more methodical approach. The only team comparable that Auburn has faced when it comes to playing slow and conservative is Georgia, which the Tigers beat twice. Will Auburn's pace give Charleston a punch in the mouth it can't recover from or will the Cougars slow, methodical game plan keep the Tigers out of rhythm? Tip off is Friday at 6:27 pm CST on TruTV live from San Diego.
What's next? If Auburn wins, they will face the winner of #5 Clemson and #12 New Mexico State before a likely showdown with #1 Kansas in the Sweet 16.
Alabama Crimson Tide 19-15 (8-10 SEC)
Whether the Tide would even make the NCAA Tournament was in doubt after suffering a 5 game losing streak entering the SEC Tournament. However, reeling off back-to-back wins over Texas A&M and Auburn secured the Tide a #9 seed and their first appearance since 2012. Alabama now looks to #8 Virginia Tech. Va Tech has looked iffy down the stretch just like Alabama, but the Hokies are only 1 of 2 teams to beat overall #1 Virginia.
Alabama is one of the youngest teams in the country but you'll forget that as soon as you see Collin Sexton take the court. When he's on, no one can stop him. When he's off, the game is more in doubt but the Tide still has plenty of play makers to hang with anyone. Virginia Tech has beaten plenty of great teams but will the Freshmen phenom be too much for the Hokies to handle? Tip off is Thursday at 8:20pm CST on TNT live from Pittsburgh.
What's next? If Bama wins, they would face off against Big East Champ and #1 seeded Villanova in the round of 32.