Last night, the Auburn Tigers men's basketball team completed a season sweep of the University of Alabama with a 77-73 comeback victory in Tuscaloosa. A sold-out crowd, Senior night, and even the presence of Nick Saban was not enough to help the Tide in this game. The game was televised nationally by ESPN, so the entire country had the good fortune of witnessing the conquest of the Tide on their home court. It's a shame the game doesn't really have any national implications, though. Or does it?
With their victory last night, Auburn was able to strengthen their argument in the debate over whether they should be invited to the NCAA Championship tournament. There are several teams with similar records, RPI, and strength of schedule that are included in discussions of "bubble teams," but Auburn is yet to be mentioned very often in this context by media experts.
I'm an admittedly biased Auburn fan, but I'm still not certain we are deserving of that type of recognition. While we are definitely one of the hottest teams in the country right now (and that should be considered), our overall resume is currently still a bit short of deserving a tourney invite. I do think it would be utterly shocking to not receive an NIT invitation at this point, though.
A win over a strong LSU team on our home court Saturday could go a long way toward changing that perspective, though. With a win this weekend and a couple victories in the SEC tournament, I believe we would definitely be deserving of an NCAA bid. Our resume would receive an impressive little boost with those marks and would make it difficult for the selection committee to ignore our team. Maybe that is just my bias coming into play again, but I can accept that.