The Auburn Tigers have had a dream season. They won a share of the SEC’s regular season title and will be among the favorites to take home the SEC Tournament trophy in St. Louis this week.
But Auburn’s NCAA Tournament ceiling might not be as high as you’d think — at least from a seeding prospective.
According to ESPN’s Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi, the Tigers won’t be better than a 3-seed when the selection committee reveals the field of 68 on Sunday.
“I don’t think they could (move up to a 2-seed), no,” Lunardi said. “The competition ahead of them is too high.”
Part of the reason for Auburn’s limited ceiling could be how it finished the season. The Tigers lost three of their final five games, including one to RPI No. 74 South Carolina.
Auburn also doesn’t boast a strong nonconference résumé. It does have wins over Uconn and Dayton, but both of those teams struggled mightily this season.
However, because the Tigers did so well in the SEC, they likely won’t fall far, either.
“If they lose (opening game) I guess if the committee has undervalued them they could fall to a 5,” said Lunardi, who currently has the Tigers projected as a 3-seed. “Most likely a 4-seed (if they lose the opening game of the SEC Tournament).”
Auburn will open the the SEC Tournament with the winner of Alabama-Texas A&M. The Aggies are safely in the field, but the Crimson Tide would be a desperate team should they meet Auburn on Friday.