Alabama Crimson Tide 20-15 (8-10 SEC)
#9 seeded Alabama picked up their first NCAA tournament win since 2006 with a 86-83 victory over #8 seeded Virginia Tech. Things did not look great to start, Collin Sexton had 2 first half points but the Tide only trailed by 2 at the break. The second half came around and Sexton exploded on the offensive end to finish as the game's high scorer at 25 points. John Petty also chipped in 20 points after going 6-8 from the 3 point line.
What's next? #9 Alabama faces #1 Villanova. #1 seeds normally don't get bounced in the 2nd round but Villanova has done just that as a #1 seed in 2017 and 2015. Will the Wildcats be extra tough for that reason or will the Tide rise to the occasion? If Bama wins they would have the toughest opponent in their bracket behind them which could make a deep tournament run possible. Tip off for Alabama vs. Villanova is 11:10 CST on CBS Saturday, March 17th.
Auburn Tigers 25-7 (13-5 SEC)
#4 seeded Auburn will start the tournament off tonight with #13 College of Charleston. The College of Charleston won the Colonial conference and despite having a nearly identical record at 26-7, they play a completely different type of basketball.
Auburn has excelled in playing at a break neck pace which keeps teams tired and leads to plenty of turnovers. Charleston slows down the game tremendously and takes a more methodical approach. The only team comparable that Auburn has faced when it comes to playing slow and conservative is Georgia, which the Tigers beat twice. Auburn has not been nearly as hot as they were earlier in the season but Bruce Pearl and the Tigers seemed determined to make the most out of their NCAA Tournament appearance. Bruce even proclaiming "We're 2 wins away from the Sweet 16" before boarding the flight for San Diego. Tip off is TONIGHT at 6:27 pm CST on TruTV.
What's next? If Auburn wins, they will face the winner of #5 Clemson and #12 New Mexico State. Clemson would have a major size advantage over the Tigers whereas NM State would play more to Auburn's strengths, a win is possible against either team either way. A time has not been set for the 2nd Round game but it would most likely be on Sunday, March 18th. Winning in the second round would set up a likely showdown with #1 Kansas in the Sweet 16.