The No. 11 Auburn Tigers have been one of the hottest teams in college basketball, and their dominance can be seen in the latest polls and data rankings.
The Tigers are currently a top-15 team in both the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and the Associated Press poll this week and are the No. 4 team in the latest KenPom update. Auburn is currently riding a 10-game winning streak and has won every game in the stretch by double figures.
There are just under two months remaining in the regular season, but postseason projections are starting to favor Auburn. The Athletic released the latest edition of their NCAA Tournament Bracket Watch on Friday and has given Auburn one of the highest seeds in the tournament.
According to the latest update by Brian Bennett of The Athletic, Auburn is projected to be a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and is forecasted to compete in the West Regional as the No. 8 overall seed. Auburn is projected to face No. 15 Colgate in the round of 64 and would have a shot to face the winner of No. 7 Villanova and No. 10 TCU. Arizona, Duke, Illinois, and Memphis are also a part of this hypothetical region.
Bennett mentions that Auburn is on the edge of earning a No. 1 seed, but cites one factor for leaving them as a No. 2 seed: quality wins.
We settled on a controversial choice: Auburn, which has no Quad 1 wins but has been utterly dominant. The metrics are elite: fourth in KenPom, sixth in BPI, seventh in the NET. The big wins, we believe, are coming soon.
The Tigers will have a chance to earn a pair of Quad 1 wins over the next week. Auburn travels to Alabama next Wednesday and to Mississippi State next Saturday. Both teams hold a NET ranking of No. 5 and No. 33 respectively.
Auburn is one of eight SEC teams that are projected to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, with Tennessee expected to take the conference’s automatic qualifying bid. The SEC’s eight forecasted slots are the second-most behind the Big 12, which is expected to send 10 teams to “the big dance.”