'A new tradition': Auburn embraces March Madness bid

'A new tradition': Auburn embraces March Madness bid

Devon Hall of the Virginia Cavaliers drives against David Skara of the Clemson Tigers during the semifinals of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Barclays Center on March 9, 2018 in New York City.

On Sunday it was announced the Aggies will be the 12th seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament.

Bruce Pearl's Tigers will play No. 13 seed College of Charleston in the first round. Still, it was a better showing than that 61-36 loss at Virginia on January 23, when the Tigers shot 32 percent and managed only 13 points in the second half. If Auburn advances past the first weekend, it will play in Omaha for the potential Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups.

Coach Brownell has taken three different programs to the NCAA Tournament. He was averaging 14.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. They were 13-10 at one point of the season, then won nine consecutive games.

The first Clemson Tiger from the state of Texas, junior Elijah Thomas, is almost averaging a double-double with 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

The ACC led all conferences with nine teams in the tournament. We had made a good enough run previous year where we could taste it, but we didn't finish with free throws or defense or transition defense or rebounding or ending plays. All those guys can shoot 3s, average over 17 points a game.

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New Mexico State had a 12-2 record in conference play and had a 1-1 record in Top 25 action.

The Aggies clinched the NCAA Tournament berth, their 21st in program history, with a 72-58 win over Grand Canyon in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nev.

With Grantham out, Marcquise Reed and Gabe DeVoe stepped up.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it", junior guard Bryce Brown said.

"I know when I came here, one of the things that (former AD) Jay Jacobs and I talked about ... they were exhausted of Auburn basketball being a ball and chain around the league", said fourth-year head coach Bruce Pearl. "I think we're playing as well as we have all year long, which is, obviously, what any coach in America shoots for".

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