Auburn seeded fifth in the 2019 NCAA Tournament

The SEC Champs are heading to Utah for their first game against No. 12 New Mexico State

Posted: Mar 18, 2019 2:54 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2019 3:34 PM

After Auburn won the 2019 SEC Tournament, the team stayed in Nashville for a little while to find out their fate for this year's NCAA Tournament. The Tigers had a watch party at the Westin Hotel with fans watching the selection show. They are the Fifth seed in the Midwest bracket.

When asked about whether he thought the seeding was fair, especially after winning the conference tournament, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said he's not worried about where the team stands. 

"You know I don't worry about that stuff. We're just happy to be SEC champions and excited about going to play for a national championship," Coach Pearl said.

Even the players aren't looking too closely at their ranking.

"We got a good spot in a good position. You know just focus on the process," Senior Horace Spencer said. 

Auburn's Midwest region foe in the first round is No. 12 New Mexico State.

"I know Chris Jans and I know his teams played really hard. They're very athletic. They play at an underrated conference and of course we're in the dreaded five-twelve game," Coach Pearl said. 

The Aggies are no stranger to the big dance. This is their third straight appearance. 

"I just know he's a terrific coach. We got a chance to see them last year when we were in San Diego. He does a terrific job. Those kids play really hard, they've always been very athletic," Coach Pearl said.

New Mexico State beat Western Athletic Conference opponent, Grand Canyon, in their conference tournament to earn the twelfth seed. 

"I mean just one game at a time, just focus on New Mexico try to play them and if we can get that win, we can move on," Spencer said.

The Tigers' side of the bracket is full with tough competition like No. 1 seed North Carolina, Kansas, and SEC foe Kentucky. 

"We're going to look at the whole thing. We're going to look at all the teams, North Carolina and look at Kansas and look at the teams in that bracket. Those are the teams we'd have to beat if we were fortunate enough to advance," Coach Pearl said.

The players are trying to stay focused on one game at a time believing in the process. Coach Pearl said he wants his team to relax for a day or two before going out to Salt Lake City. 

"I just think it's important that they don't do much," Pearl said. 

While the Tigers are ready for their next game, everyone is ready to celebrate and take in their SEC tournament win. 

"We get to Auburn we're going to roll Toomer's corner. It's been rolled but we're going to roll it again. We're going to celebrate our championship tonight," Coach Pearl said. 

WAAY 31 is doing a bracket challenge, so if you'd like to join in visit, waaytv.com/waay-to-win

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