Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Breaking down the early part of Auburn's NCAA Tournament bracket

Breaking down the early part of Auburn's NCAA Tournament bracket

The Clemson Tigers (23-9, 11-7) had more to celebrate Sunday, officially earning a seat at the table in the 2018 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament.

Auburn plays the College of Charleston, the No. 13 seed, Friday at 6:27 p.m. CT on truTV in San Diego.

If the Tigers win, they'll take on the victor of the game between No. 5 seed Clemson and No. 12 seed New Mexico State. We had made a good enough run previous year where we could taste it, but we didn't finish with free throws or defense or transition defense or rebounding or ending plays.

Charleston came into the season as the favorites to win the CAA and the Cougars didn't disappoint as the Cougars have won 14 of their last 15 games and now have the 82nd ranked scoring defense in the country. "All household names in college basketball. We're looking forward to it". He leads the team in blocks with 71 (2.2 per game).

Clemson received an at-large bid to the tournament, after being bounced in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament by Virginia.

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Clemson has never advanced to the Final Four and has not made the Elite 8 since 1980, but Brownell believes his team is capable of performing well in the tournament. We are built to win.

"We're really excited", Harris said. You can also see all 68 teams in the tournament here.

Here are four bracket busters to be aware of during the first week of the tournament. These guys are special.

This marks the 38th appearance all-time appearance for the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament and fourth time they have earned the No. 1 seed.

"We've got to get back to playing our best basketball", Pearl said.

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The Tigers lost one of their top players, Donte Grantham, to a ACL injury in January.

The Tigers from SC feature four players in Marcquise Reed, Gabe DeVoe, Shelton Mitchell and Elijah Thomas who average double-figure scoring.

Reed, who was named second-team All-ACC, averaged 16 points, five rebounds and three assists. Sophomore guard and leading scorer Mustapha Heron has proven to be a real presence when he gets to the rim, coupled with the quick feet of sophomore guard Jared Harper running the point, The Tigers have a relentlessly high-tempo offense that can widen the floor and make unexpected runs if opposing teams aren't careful.

Geographically, NMSU is the closest of the Midwest Regional teams to San Diego. Zach Lofton (19.7) is the man to watch for NMSU. "Just keep preparing like we've been doing all year". The Cougars beat Northeastern 83-76 in overtime in the CAA tournament championship game at North Charleston Coliseum on Tuesday. "We'll get in this week, get a game plan together, get ready to go for Friday".

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