Is Auburn on the Bubble?

Wendell Green Jr. (1) during the game between George Mason University and the #15 Auburn Tigers at Neville Arena in Auburn, AL on Wednesday, Oct 26, 2022. Elaina Eichorn/Auburn Tigers

In a turn of events that seemed almost unfathomable before the season, the Auburn Tigers find themselves in a precarious position as it relates to their NCAA Tournament fate. With just six games remaining in the regular season, the Tigers are not a lock to make the big dance, having now lost five of their last six.

Though they played well against Alabama, Auburn really needed a win like that to bolster their tournament resume, and now must collect some wins down the stretch to avoid the reality of having to make a deep run in the SEC Tournament to make it. It starts tonight at home against Missouri in a game which Bruce Pearl has referred to as the “biggest game of the year” thus far.

While the Tigers don’t need to go 6-0 down the stretch, the truth is that every game is now huge. Matchups against Missouri, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss over the next three really have to be wins because the other three will not be easy at all. Auburn will conclude the regular season with a road game against Kentucky, a trip to Tuscaloosa, and a home game against Tennessee.

At least four wins out of six would go a long way towards locking up a bid for Auburn. Losing some of these winnable games would put them in some dangerous territory as we march closer towards Selection Sunday. Don’t get me wrong here, Auburn is a very solid team and it would still take a collapse for them not to make it. But in college basketball, everything is earned and nothing is given. And it’s time for the Tigers to earn it.