KANSAS Town, Mo. — No. five seed Auburn turned the third system to punch its ticket to the 2019 Ultimate Four, joining Virginia and Texas Tech after defeating No. 2 seed Kentucky 77-71 in a thrilling additional time acquire Sunday.
It is the to start with at any time Ultimate Four visual appearance for Auburn, a method that is busting down doorways below charismatic coach Bruce Pearl, and for Pearl himself. Pearl, in his fifth period at the helm of the Tigers application, will be the 3rd to start with-time coach in college basketball’s final weekend this period together with Virginia coach Tony Bennett and Texas Tech mentor Chris Beard.
The Tigers’ upset vs. the Wildcats in the Midwest Regional final capped a 3-video game stretch of victories in excess of the 3 winningest courses in faculty basketball heritage after Auburn defeated Kansas in the second round and North Carolina in the Sweet 16.
“It is an honor to even be on the flooring with those packages, and then when you enjoy — your young ones perform challenging and engage in unselfishly and participate in with each other, clearly they’re the Cinderellas of this tournament,” Pearl mentioned. “And that is what would make March so particular, which workforce is it likely to be?”
The Tigers (thirty-9) will confront the Cavaliers, the No. one seed out of the South Regional on Saturday in Minneapolis in a countrywide semifinal match.
Auburn ran away in the time beyond regulation to outscore Kentucky seventeen-eleven, but that was not the scenario in the waning minutes of the 2nd 50 %. Neither crew could muster much offense. The Tigers scored only just one discipline intention about the closing 4-and-a-50 % minutes, which came on a sport-tying layup from Jared Harper with 37 seconds remaining.
Harper’s purpose in offering Auburn extra time to get the recreation was critical. The five-foot-eleven guard played like a huge down the stretch. He concluded with 26 factors and five helps, and scored or assisted in fourteen of the Tigers’ 17 additional time factors. Fellow teammate Bryce Brown’s chipped in 24, and logged two steals in the more frame.
“I truly feel like our team played properly the total second fifty percent, the total time beyond regulation,” Harper reported. “I won’t be able to do what I did devoid of getting the aid of my teammates and coaches.”
Kentucky’s PJ Washington, who commenced the NCAA Tournament on the bench due to a foot harm, scored 28 in the decline. Like Harper, he put his crew on his back again. Washington was ten of eighteen from the floor, 2 of four from 3-position variety and pulled down a activity-high thirteen rebounds. For as hobbled as he was a week ago, the load he carried was admirable.
“They played intense and hard, they bumped, and it was a grinding form of activity,” Kentucky mentor John Calipari stated. “Two of their guys experienced 50 factors. Assume about that. They deserved to win the sport. We got outplayed, got outcoached, and however had a probability to earn the video game. I believed we were being heading to acquire the match the whole way until eventually the one or two plays in overtime. Never ever entered my brain we were not likely to win the video game.”
The Tigers have been enjoying devoid of ahead Chuma Okeke, who hurt his knee vs. the Tar Heels and will skip the rest of the NCAA Match. Auburn gained an psychological carry when Okeke joined the workforce on the bench in the second half.
But Auburn’s relentless and punishing assault inside of and out was far too much for even Washington to conquer. With each and every reaction, Auburn had a counterpunch waiting around. And now the Tigers have in their hands a welcome punched ticket to their very first-ever Last Four.
CBS Sports was with you for entire coverage of Sunday’s recreation from Kansas City, Missouri, with our live weblog down below. If you are getting trouble viewing the site, be sure to click below.
Auburn vs. Kentucky updates
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