For my money, Auburn getting into the NCAA tournament was not really that much in doubt. Sure, the Tigers could consolidate their standing to get into the national playoff by beating Kentucky in the SEC tournament's first round Tuesday, but the Wildcats needed the win more. Unfortunately for UK, Auburn's pitching and offense were too much.
Cole Lipscomb allowed two runs on just four hits over 7.2 innings for the Tigers, striking out nine batters and not issuing a walk. Lipscomb did allow the first home run of the tournament -- a solo shot to Ka'ai Tom in the fifth inning -- but otherwise kept the Wildcats from doing enough to put the final lead in much danger; it was 5-0 before Kentucky finally broke through. Meanwhile, four Auburn players had multiple hits in the game: Jackson Burgreen (3-for-4, a triple and a walk); Daniel Robert (3-for-5); Melvin Gray (2-for-3, a walk); and Kyler Deese (2-for-4, a walk).
The loss all but certainly ends Kentucky's season, though it would have been a tall order even had the Wildcats won this one. Auburn, meanwhile, gets to build on a resume that's probably already good enough to get them in. They take on tournament favorite LSU on Wednesday to begin the double-elimination round.