The season is early, and Auburn has plenty of time to boost its stock ahead of Selection Sunday.
It may only be November, but college basketball insiders everywhere have already started filling out their projected NCAA Tournament brackets.
NCAA.com insider Andy Katz released his first bracket projection on Wednesday afternoon, ranking the Auburn Tigers as an 8 seed in the Midwest Region.
Katz projects a hypothetical matchup of Tigers in the first round, with Auburn taking on last year’s Ivy League Champion Princeton.
Princeton has gotten off to an undefeated start this season with a similar style of play to that of Auburn.
The Ivy League Tigers are 7-0 this year with wins over tournament hopefuls Rutgers and Hofstra.
Like Auburn, Princeton wins games with tenacious defense and an offense led by double-double threat Caden Pierce and two solid shooters on the outside.
Auburn is one of nine SEC teams in the projected field. The SEC is tied with the Big 10 for the most teams in the bracket.
While this bracket can be taken with a grain of salt, Auburn as an 8 seed seems low based on the way the Tigers have played to open up the season.
[autotag]Bruce Pearl[/autotag]’s team’s lone loss this season was at the hands of Big 12 opponent Baylor, who Katz projects as a 2 seed in the same region.
Auburn lost that game by 6 on a neutral court but has followed the loss by racking up five straight wins by double-digit victories.
The Tigers may very well struggle in SEC play in a competitive conference, but they could also thrive with a defense holding opponents to under 64 points per game this season and a timely offensive led by [autotag]Johni Broome[/autotag] and [autotag]Aden Holloway[/autotag].
It remains to be seen where Auburn will end up in the NCAA Tournament, but the early eye test tells me this team is good enough to land on the No. 6 or No. 7 line.
A first-round matchup with Princeton would be extremely entertaining though.
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