SALT LAKE CITY – On Friday, Bryce Brown conducted a survey in Twitter and immediately sent it to a group message group.
The Twitter poll asked the question: who will win the round of 32 matches between Auburn and Kansas. Results? Kansas: 58 percent. Auburn: 42 percent.
Brown was not surprised to see him. This is Kansas basketball, and this is Auburn basketball. He can not blame people for accepting this traditional reflection. But he wanted one thing to be sure. He wanted everyone in the team to appreciate that it was how everyone felt about Auburn-Kansas basketball competition.
"It was a motivation, and we did not have to answer that," Brown said. "They understood."
Everyone in the Auburn locker mentioned this before Friday. Kansas was at 31 Sweet 16s. Auburn only advanced to four. Bruce Pearl made this fact painful in his usual attempts at a pre-match.
The Tigers responded so resolutely as they could imagine.
Kansas jumped to lead 2-0. Jayhawks led for 17 seconds. Then Anfernee McLemore buried the game. Auburn never followed.
In the first half of the year, Auburn would not be disturbed.
Bryce Brown has forgotten what it means to lose a leap. Jared Harper did not even remember. Auburn's defensive persistence and transit transition led to a rapid breakdown of 26-1 against a team in Kansas, which she saw as the one who could follow Auburn. Can not. Dedric Lawson, the national player of the year, had problems with getting a little more light, which he destroyed and fired in the first half.
At half-time, Auburn led with 26 points. Against Kansas. In basketball. It was a lead that could not be caught.
It was a tiger night, which showed everyone – let's call them 58 percent – to count on basketball at the college.
"We want to play against good competition, so we were excited to play a historical program like Kansas," he said. "He just showed the world," It's Auburn, "Horace Spencer said." We are supporters, and now we are here. We want to show what we have. We want to know how every game is coming. "
When Samir Doughty moved to Auburn, he was for the potential of such moments.
He acknowledges that he could not even imagine it – He beat Kansas, made his way to Sweet 16. Doughty knows if you did not imagine it, no one else will. He remembers that he made the decision to leave VCU for Auburn. He had other options, but he chose Auburn for what he thought he could become, although it was nowhere near now.
This is an apology.
"I've seen potential in the team, I've seen potential in everyone, I knew we had good players, great coaches, I felt like we could make history if I came here." Many people did not think this was a great idea for me. They thought we were not even a big basketball team. We did not come to NIT for years, so I did not think it was a good idea, "said Doughty. "But I definitely did not anticipate it honestly. I did not think that we would beat Kansas as much as we did to get to Sweet 16. "
It was the central game on Saturday night of the NCAA tournament.
All eyes, as often, were on Kansas.
By the end of the game, the world of basketball college did not want to talk about Jayhawks. They wanted to talk about Auburn. Tigers were the ones among the hottest teams in basketball. These are those who deflect four matches in four days and exterminate eternally wise blood at the national level.
For Tigers, this is further proof of importance.
"We wanted to make sure that we are important at the national level. I know that many guys did not choose us in their brackets just because it was Kansas." This is so historic. "We wanted to get out and make the point early. now nationally important, "said Anfernee McLemore." I think we are very important. I think we can play with everybody in the country – Duke, North Carolina, anyone. In any case, I do not think anybody will take us lightly. If they do, they will pay for it. "
For Bryce Browns and Horace Spencers, they know how to be the lowest. Sometimes they did not see Auburn's basketball program survive the depths in which he found himself.
That is why what it did on Saturday evening against the program, as it was historically known as Kansas, is exactly what Auburn is – the majority of these Tigers, who never approached Jayhawks' offer – needed to establish their brand among elite basketball colleague.
"It's hard to explain, just to get out of high school, I'm a 3-star, without being very busy." Auburn was the only big high school she offered me. Being in the spotlight as one of the faces program, it's so much for me, "Brown said. "I do not take it for granted. At all times, whenever I give this shirt, I never take it for granted."
Bruce Pearl rarely doubted that Auburn basketball would reach those heights.
It took a hard job. They needed big players.
But when his team took the floor against Kansas, he already felt that his program was among the best in the whole country. And he surely felt that: Of course it was Kansas, and now it's also Auburn. And the Tigers are convinced that every basketball fan in America knows what it means in 2019.
"I've said this several times in these postgame interviews – a better team won tonight. You can not say often that when the Auburn team plays the Kansas team," said Pearl. "The fact that this can be done on Auburn is a really strong statement. These children came to Auburn on the promise that if we met together we could put together something and make a basketball program together."