The promised land is in sight. A realm of brackets, bubbles, glass slippers and madness is the end destination of Auburn’s journey. The NCAA Tournament was a fairy tale to Auburn fans. It was a legend for a program that hadn’t seen its glory in 15 years. Lost in the annals of their memories, basketball was forgotten.
Then, there was a team shrouded in mystery that embarked on their own quest to make a fairy tale a reality. Early in their travels, they gained wisdom from an owl, vanquished a blazing dragon, conquered blue raiders and sped past racers. Growing in strength and unity, they bested tenacious huskies, razorbacks and volunteers. In doing so, they have made quite the name for themselves. They have college basketball’s attention, and the best of the Southeastern Conference awaits them.
This is the beginning of an Auburn basketball renaissance. With victories over two top 25 opponents and the third-longest winning streak in the country at 12, there is no shortage of excitement around the Auburn basketball program. At 14-1, Auburn has been the most consistent team in the SEC in a year where the league is deep but also turbulent.
Tennessee and Arkansas were early SEC tests for a team that was largely unproven at the end of the non-conference schedule in the eyes of the college basketball community. Auburn handled those teams with relative ease and it is hard to find fault with how they are playing at the moment.
In games against Tennessee and Arkansas, there were fleeting moments where we saw a sneak peak of Auburn when they are at their best. At other times, Auburn was playing well, but not at their highest efficiency.
Auburn is capable of more, but they are also capable of less. How will Auburn respond when their winning streak is broken? It’s possible they succumb to the blustery nature of the SEC. It’s also possible that they stay the course and join 67 other teams for a seat at the table of the NCAA Tournament.
Auburn’s journey is far from over, but what once seemed like a fairy tale can now be reality.