Auburn’s men’s basketball team will spend Christmas in Hawaii doing something I’ve wanted Auburn to do for a long time. The Tigers will be playing in the Diamond Head Classic from December 22-25. This is big for two reasons: 1) it means that Auburn basketball respected enough to be invited to a tournament, and B) it means that Auburn is respected enough to be invited to a tournament. Hashtag Bruce Pearl Effect.
So let’s go through this very fun, but confusing looking bracket below. Auburn will start the tournament off against New Mexico on December 22 at 1:30 on ESPNU. New Mexico won the MWC Tournament last year and ended up losing in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. They also just sent all of their players to Alabama. No really, one of their players just transferred to Alabama.
If Auburn wins, they’ll move to the right side of the bracket, and play the winner of the BYU/Harvard. If Auburn loses, they’ll move to the left side of the bracket, and play the loser of the BYU/Harvard. BYU lost in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament. Harvard lost in the Sweet 16.
After that, it just depends on the bottom half of the tournament. What’s cool is that everybody plays the same amount of games, and they even have a game to figure who is in 7th place. That’s Christmas giving.
So while the teams Auburn will face first are all tourney teams, they all come from the batch of small conference winners. There’s a chance Auburn could win this thing if they turn on that magic from last year’s SEC Tournament.
Either way, I’m just glad they are there. Now I can watch Auburn basketball on Christmas Day. That’s like… Christmas.