For the first time in 16 years, the Auburn Tigers are moving on to the Sweet 16.
The Tigers used yet another explosive performance from the field to jar the mighty Kansas Jayhawks to the point of no return. By night’s end in Salt Lake City, Auburn celebrated an 89-74 victory over the Jayhawks to get to their first Sweet 16 since 2003.
It was all guns blazing right from the get go. Auburn built up a mighty advantage, going up 17-7 after a thunderous dunk by Harper at the 15:35 mark. Kansas couldn’t quite keep up with the barrage that the Tigers were unleashing, as the Tigers led 34-15 by the 8:58 mark. The lead swelled up to 40-20 and then 51-25 by half’s end, and there was simply nothing KU could do.
The Tigers’ latest victory — their 10th in a row, and 12th in the last 13 games — was primarily juiced by the play of Bryce Brown and Jared Harper . Brown and Harper combined for 43 of the Tigers’ 89 points, with Brown leading the way with 25 of his own. He was elecrtric, going 7-for-11 from 3-point land and 9-for-13 from the field. Harper was a cool 6-for-14 from the floor and had six assists to boot.
Chuma Okeke and Anfernee McLemore joined their comrades in double figures, as Okeke put up 12 points while McLemore churned out 11. Three others — Malik Dunbar, J’Von McCormick and Austin Wiley — scored six points on the night.
Auburn’s prolific showing was shown off in the PPP department. The Tigers put up 1.348 points per possession against Kansas, and comparatively, Kansas put up 1.103. Auburn certainly blazed the nets en route to the win, which has been the formula for success so far and they’ve been white-hot of late as a result.
The Tigers will now go to Kansas City for the Sweet 16. The Midwest Regional will play host to a matchup between the Tigers and the winner of Sunday’s quarrel pitting the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Washington Huskies. Auburn hasn’t played UNC this season, but they did hand Washington a hearty 88-66 defeat earlier in the season.