Auburn Hangs on to Beat New Mexico State After Crazy Finish

Aubrey Yates
March 22, 2019

"We were down two, so I felt like Terrell Brown was open, he got a great shot off, got fouled", Harris said.

That much was made official on Thursday afternoon, when Kansas, the No. 4 seed, and 5th-seeded Auburn won first-round games at Vivint Smart Home Arena over Northeastern (87-53) and New Mexico State (78-77) respectively. Auburn's Bryce Brown plowed into Terrell Brown on his 3-point attempt with just over a second remaining, but the 78 percent foul shooter could not deliver from the free throw line. Possession went to New Mexico State (30-5), but Trevelin Queen missed a corner three just before the buzzer, and the Tigers (27-9) held on for the victory.

For almost four agonizing minutes, the Auburn faithful watched in sheer horror as their team committed untimely fouls and turnovers, before almost escaping into Round 2 thanks to New Mexico State's last-second airball.

Winning a game in back-to-back NCAA tournaments is another milestone in Bruce Pearl's rebuild at Auburn.

Even then Auburn remained up four after New Mexico State's Johnny McCants split a pair of free throws, but the Tigers weren't done blundering. "I don't want to do it again, though". But the ball went out of bounds with 1.1 seconds left following the third shot.

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Auburn will face the victor of No. 4 Kansas and No. 13 Northeastern.

Auburn had as many wins as SEC regular-season champions LSU this season, but their nine losses saw them finish fifth.

Auburn's tallest starter is 6-foot-8 Okeke.

The Auburn Tigers broke a 34-year drought to win the Southeastern Conference Tournament this year, soundly besting SEC No. 2 Tennessee 84-64 in the final to mark their resurgence.

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