By Greg Ostendorf
AUBURN, Ala. -- Welcome back to the Big Dance, Auburn. For the first time since 2003, the Tigers will play in the NCAA Tournament.
The SEC regular-season champions received a 4 seed in the Midwest Region from the selection committee Sunday night and will travel west to San Diego where they will face Charleston in the first round Friday. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6:27 p.m. CT and will be televised on truTV. With a win, they will play the winner of Clemson and New Mexico State on Sunday.
"We're excited about this opportunity," Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. "People think you play for the national championship if you play in the last game and I don't. You play for the national championship when you're in this tournament, and you have to win six games to win it.
"The bracket is loaded at the top with Kansas, Duke, Michigan State, Auburn being the 4 seed in that group. It's a pretty darn good (group) from the standpoint of profiles, national programs, and to be in the top four seeds in this bracket is a tremendous statement for the regular-season champions."
For Auburn, this will be the 9th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, and it's the second-highest seed the Tigers have ever received. They were a No. 1 seed in 1999. They have also won a game in seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances dating back to 1985.
This year's team went 25-6 during the regular season and won the SEC regular season title with a 13-5 mark in league play.
"Just knowing where the program has come from, it's amazing," junior guard Bryce Brown said. "I'm proud of the coaches. I'm proud of my teammates. I feel like we've come a long way this year, and we still have a lot of work to be done. We're out there to shock some people."
Greg Ostendorf is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @greg_ostendorf
NCAA Tournament Info
Click HERE to purchase tickets directly through StubHub.
Sunday, March 18, 1:15 p.m. PST
Team Hotel - Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego (West Entrance facing Cheesecake Factory)
1 Market Place
San Diego, CA 92101
Follow the Tigers with the Tournament Central page at AuburnTigers.com/ncaa, presented by Ford.
The Auburn Family is invited to attend the official watch party location of Auburn Basketball in Auburn on Sunday, March 18 at Baumhower's Victory Grille at 6:00 pm CST.