Auburn Faces HUGE Matchup Against Kentucky

Allen Flanigan (22) during the game between the Univeristy of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers and the #15 Auburn Tigers at Neville Arena in Auburn, AL on Wednesday, Oct 26, 2022. Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers

Last week, we posed the question as to whether or not Auburn was on the bubble. They had six games remaining at the time, three of them being very winnable, and three of them being very difficult. We are three games into that final stretch of six, and through all three of the “easy” ones, and the Tigers are 2-1 thus far. A beatdown of Missouri, a loss to Vanderbilt, and a narrow victory over Ole Miss sets Auburn up with three games left, two of them on the road at Kentucky and Alabama, and finishing at home against Tennessee.

While Kentucky has probably done enough to secure their spot with wins over Tennessee and a road win over Florida, they aren’t guaranteed anything and this is a massive game for them as well. Auburn has been a different team at home vs. on the road this season, but really could use a huge win like this against Kentucky in Lexington to secure a birth in the NCAA Tournament.

The loss to Vanderbilt was crushing in that Auburn now cannot afford to go 0-3 over the final stretch, even though the way the schedule works out leaves three of their toughest matchups at the end. Kentucky, while talented, has shown to be very beatable this season and in my opinion, a win at Rupp Arena would lock up a tournament bid for the Tigers no matter what happens over the next two or at the SEC Tournament.

Bruce Pearl must rally the troops and get his team ready for a hostile environment at Kentucky. If the Tigers don’t show up Saturday, the road doesn’t get any easier from here.