The NIT is IT
The Tigers, 22-11, will get a No. 1 seed for the National Invitation Tournament. That means the team will play its games either at home or at Madison Square Garden for the semis/finals.
JEFF LEBO SPEAKS:
On the general situation: "Our team is disappointed. Our kids are disappointed. There's not a whole lot you can say to then. They were hurt. They made a heck of a run at the end and put themselves in position to get it."
On Auburn's weak strength of schedule: ``When we scheduled (George Washington), they were coming off two or three tournament appearances. People think you can just go out and schedule people. It's tough to get some teams to play you home-and-home. You don't just call up North Carolina and get a home-and-home."
On how to fix things: "I don't know how you can pick one (team) over another. I've always been for expanding the tournament. You get the right draw, you could go to the Sweet 16. There are so many good teams out there."
On if he'll talk with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, a member of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, about the Tigers' plight: "Yeah. Pretty much every coach does that. Our RPI was still a little bit too high and a couple more wins would have made a big difference."
RAHSEEM BARRETT SPEAKS:
On the general situation: "Growing up, every kid wants to play in the NCAA Tournament. We still get postseason play; we still get to play another basketball game."
On the team's emotional fragility: "I'm sure a couple guys are hurt. We played our hardest and gave it all this season. To win 10 games in the SEC, I think that's enough. We still have to come in tomorrow and practice hard."
On if he watched the MSU-Tennessee game this afternoon: "I took a nap. I'm proud of Mississippi State. People said the West was terrible. Look what happened."
FOOTNOTE: Former Auburn guard Toney Douglas, who fled the Plains three years ago for Florida State, will end his final college season in the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles qualified.
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University