AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn basketball has lofty goals for the 2017-18 season which includes a postseason appearance, but first the Tigers will have to navigate their Southeastern Conference schedule.
Bruce Pearl’s squad will play 7 total home contests at Auburn Arena, including games against Kentucky, Alabama, Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
SEC play will start on Tuesday, Jan. 2 when Auburn travels to Knoxville, Tenn. to face Tennessee. The Tigers’ first home game will come four days later against Arkansas on Jan. 6.
Other opponents Auburn will get to play at home include Ole Miss (Jan. 9), Georgia (Jan. 20), LSU (Jan. 27), Vanderbilt (Feb. 3), Texas A&M (Feb. 7), Kentucky (Feb. 14), Alabama (Feb. 21) and South Carolina (March 3).
The SEC Tournament will be played in Scottrade Center Arena in St. Louis, Mo. March 7-11.
Last season home court seemed advantageous for the Tigers, who went 10-5 at on the Plains compared to 6-6 away.
Coaches and players emphasized how improved the league was becoming last season before Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas and Vanderbilt all received tournament bids. Eventually the Gators, Wildcats and Gamecocks advanced to the Elite Eight.
There’s perhaps even higher expectations for the coming season, and Auburn is feeling the pressure to boost the conference’s reputation.
“We need to get off to a good start because the SECneeds to get off to a good start,” Pearl said before Auburn departed for Italy in early August. “We need to win in November and December in our league, and if we win in November and December in our league, watch us get half the league in the NCAA tournament. You didn’t hear it here first, but you heard it here: I think we’ll get half the league in the tournament.”
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