23. Auburn Tigers – 6-2
Coach Bruce Pearl has a history of aggressive scheduling including this season’s slate. He gave us the first real compelling game of the 2023-24 NCAA Basketball campaign, a neutral site matchup with Baylor. Last Sunday, he took his team on the road at Appalachian State, one of the better teams in the Sun Belt.
He called it a “learning experience” after that game and it’s one they’ll certainly have things to get better at, with the Tigers taking a 69-64 defeat. Johni Broome had another big game with 21 pts and 13 rebs, while Tre Donaldson had 12 pts off the bench. But none of the other four starters were in double figures, including freshman Aden Holloway shooting just 2/10 from the field.
The good news for Auburn is that they rebounded nicely this weekend against Indiana, overcoming an early double-digit deficit to run the Hoosiers out of the building. The final score was 104-76, with Holloway and Jaylin Williams each having 24 points. There were three players off the bench in double figures, including 14 from KD Johnson.
The Tigers have a neutral site game against UNC Asheville on Wednesday, with USC following it on Sunday. After what happened with Appalachian State, look for the SEC team to avoid any kind of letdown to put them on upset alert again.