A win is a win, and although it wasn’t pretty in round one, the four-seed Auburn Tigers are getting ready for a Sunday night match up against Clemson in the round of sixty-four. Auburn needs to focus on fixing their mistakes from their game on Friday afternoon which included a lot of bad shooting from the Tigers. Auburn shot just 35.6% from the field and a feeble 20.8% from behind the three point line. Most people can agree that Auburn is lucky that their ability to get turnovers (21) and a bit of poor shooting from Charleston kept them from getting upset in San Diego.
Just because they struggled on Friday does not mean that they are likely to lose to the number five seed Clemson on Sunday night. Auburn needs to quickly learn from their mistakes because another shooting performance like Friday night would likely end the tournament run. Clemson took down twelve-seed New Mexico State on Friday by a 79-68 final to punch their ticket to the round of thirty-two. Auburn will be tasked with slowing down the hot shooting Tigers which shot an incredible 55.9% from the field (42.9% from the three-point line).
Currently, Clemson is a 1.5 point underdog, but Auburn will need to get hot shooting the ball because when they get momentum on offense (which was rare on Friday) they are hard to beat. (6:10 tip on TBS)
With March Madness going on, SEC conference opening weekend was almost forgotten. After another excellent start from Casey Mize (7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) on Friday and a blowout eighth inning highlighted by a Steven Williams grand slam on Saturday, Auburn has already won the series against Texas A&M. Texas A&M is not a slouch either- The Aggies are ranked ninth in the country by D1 Baseball and tenth by Baseball America. Auburn will send Tanner Burns to the mound on Sunday to try and finish off the series sweep, which would be huge for Auburn going forward (1:00 first pitch on SEC Network+).
Auburn’s record is now pushed up to an impressive 19-1 (2-0 in SEC) with five series win including Texas A&M. The SEC is undoubtedly the toughest conference in the country with eight of the fourteen teems in the Baseball America Top 25. Behind one of the best aces in the county in Casey Mize and a solid offense, the Tigers look like they can be one of the best teams in the conference. Casey Mize has made every series opener for Auburn feel like a guaranteed win and deserves a lot of credit. Mize is currently 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 51 strikeouts in five starts. He is shown incredible swing and miss stuff and threw the first no-hitter from an Auburn pitcher since 2003. This team is a lot of fun to watch and based on the first two games of the Texas A&M series, is going to be a tough out for other teams around the league.