The Auburn Tigers came out hot Wednesday night on a thrilling 10-2 run. Neville Arena was rocking and the Tigers looked to be in good shape. Unfortunately, even with Auburn’s strength being 3 point defense at 2nd in the nation, the Aggies hit their first 6 of 9 three pointers. Their primary weakness for the season has been shooting 3 pointers, but it wasn’t tonight as even the most unbalanced shots seemed to fall. The Tigers outscored their opponent in the 2nd half, but the first half deficit would be insurmountable. Here are a few takeaways from tonight’s game.
Big Athletic teams have been a problem
Texas A&M is a bad matchup for this Auburn team. Memphis similarly gave the Tigers fits. Auburn sometimes has trouble finding rhythm on offense, and when the other team is bigger, especially at the guard position, they can have trouble finding consistent momentum. A&M really struggled to score at all in Auburn last year, but found a new gear of intensity by the post season. The Aggies are among the best defensive teams in the country. The result could have been different, but momentum rested with A&M tonight.
Auburn has had success with zone defense
A big part of Auburn’s five game win streak has been their use of zone defense. It seemed to galvanize the win against Arkansas, and can be a great way to stop momentum, confuse the offense, and neutralize bigger teams. Unfortunately, this was not used tonight in the first half. With A&M being a bigger team that doesn’t usually shoot well it would have seemed to be a fit, but we played man defense instead.
SEC officiating is really bad
It’s well known across the conference, and all of our teams and fans complain about it. SEC officials are embarrassing. There are many bad calls in each game with plenty being egregious. Just to pick one from tonight, Zep Jasper was battling below the waist for a rebound and Somehow got called for a shooting foul. In hundreds of church league games I’ve never seen a call that head scratching and bad. Let’s hope the conference will make changes and put more resources towards having decent officiating.
The longest home winning streak comes to an end
Auburn owned the longest home winning streak in college basketball this week. It was a huge accomplishment. 28 in a row is tough to do. Games against Kentucky, Alabama, and Arkansas were memorable. It is also worth noting that Auburn just broke the school record for consecutive weeks ranked in the AP poll at 30. Auburn is the winningest team in the SEC over the last five years, but came up short tonight.
Finally, here are some twitter reactions and highlights from tonight’s game
Texas A&M leads 13-6 in the all-time series with Auburn including a 6-2 record at Neville Arena since joining the SEC in 2012.
The Tigers will look to avenge a 67-62 loss to the eighth-seeded Aggies in the quarterfinals of last year’s SEC Tournament in Tampa, Florida.
Per a release from Auburn, Auburn holds the title of boasting the nation’s longest home-court win streak at 28 games. Gonzaga lost to Loyola Marymount, 68-67, on Jan. 19, which snapped a previous best of 76 consecutive games won at The Kennel in Spokane, Wash.
Florida was the last team to leave Neville Arena (then Auburn Arena) victorious (W, 74-57) on Feb. 23, 2021.
The Jungle has proven to be one of the toughest home venues in all of college basketball. UCLA is currently the next closest with a 19-game win streak playing at Pauley Pavilion (13,800 capacity), where the Bruins are averaging 8,325 fans per game.
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