Auburn's 'One Game at a Time' Mentality carries it Into the SEC Tournament

Auburn's 'One Game at a Time' Mentality carries it Into the SEC Tournament


One game at a time Auburn rides momentum into SEC

After their stunning win against Texas A&M on the road, Auburn enters SEC play on a high note. The Tigers have won five straight games and look set for another impressive victory against the Aggies on Wednesday.

On Wednesday night, the Aggies will look to bounce back from an 83-60 loss at South Carolina and carry that momentum into their game against the Tigers. This could be a pivotal point in their season as they head home for one last road game against Kentucky before it all concludes.

1. Texas A&M

At this stage of the season, it's all about momentum. Teams that get hot can move up in the polls or go on to win the SEC Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament - as Auburn did this year.

On Saturday, the Tigers will carry that momentum into a SEC West matchup against Texas A&M at Jordan-Hare Stadium. After their impressive performance against South Carolina, the Aggies are coming off an encouraging win but remain winless against SEC opposition. It will be important for them to keep this streak going against Auburn in two weeks' time if they want to maintain it.

This series between these two programs has been an intriguing one to watch, with Texas A&M winning eight of the last ten meetings and Auburn having some success as well. It promises to be an entertaining battle to watch!

No clear-cut winner has emerged in this series; rather, it has come down to who had more talent and a stronger resume. While Auburn may have an overall advantage and more conference wins, the Aggies remain formidable SEC West opponents that can give any team a run for its money.

This battle presents an exciting chance to watch two talented seniors, who could potentially play in the NFL, showcase their skills against an offense that has struggled this year. Derick Hall leads the Tigers in tackles for loss and sacks with a chance to set new career highs against an Aggies offensive line that is struggling.

2. Kentucky

After an impressive 14-game losing streak, Auburn has found some momentum heading into SEC Tournament play. The Tigers have won four of their last five games to wrap up the regular season and look to carry that into this week's opener against Florida - who sit at 12-17 overall.

Though not quite the same result as when Auburn crushed Kentucky in Neville Arena, these victories have given Auburn some much-needed momentum and enabled them to retake control of the SEC and return to the top of the conference standings for the first time since December.

Saturday's 86-54 victory against Auburn at Rupp Arena marked a monumental accomplishment for Kentucky, who had only won two SEC road games prior to this trip. Additionally, it marked their third Quad 1 triumph this season and an important step on their road to making the NCAA Tournament field.

With the victory, UK improved to 20-9 and 10-5 in the SEC - both still good enough to place them among the top 10 of NET rankings.

On the other hand, the Tigers are 19-9 and 9-6, and are searching for a win against an underperforming Kentucky team that would further enhance their impressive SEC record.

The Tigers opened the game by scoring seven points on a 13-play, 68-yard drive that took 6:25 off the clock - it was the fifth-longest scoring drive in SEC history.

Meanwhile, the Tigers defense forced a turnover on downs and held WKU to a three-and-out in the opening quarter. Furthermore, only 11 minutes of possession were made by WKU in that span of time.

For Auburn to come out on top against Kentucky in this SEC Tournament matchup, they'll need to play a much better game than what Tennessee put forth on Senior Day. With their share of the SEC Championship Game at stake, Kentucky will be tough to beat on their home floor.

3. Tennessee

After two impressive wins against LSU and Georgia, Auburn is ready for its last regular season game. Their motto: 'One game at a time' - they hope to carry that momentum into the SEC Tournament and beyond.

The Southeastern Conference has earned a reputation for quality competition. It has won multiple national championships and boasts an impressive financial success record, providing plenty of revenue to its member schools.

Auburn's schedule this year is full of important games, and each can be challenging. So SEC Shorts came up with a solution: 'One Game at a Time' to help you stay focused and manage stress.

Auburn (22-8, 11-7 SEC) is one of the league's top teams and will be a strong contender in this year's SEC Tournament. However, if it wants to play for the title, Auburn must be prepared for some challenges along the way.

Tennessee (18-10, 9-8 SEC) has been a formidable opponent in the SEC this year. Although they lost to Mississippi State and Arkansas - both SEC West rivals - they also defeated Georgia and Auburn.

That's encouraging news for the Vols, who are currently ranked fifth in the SEC and can secure a double-bye into the SEC Tournament with a victory at home against either South Carolina or Ole Miss.

At 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, UT will face South Carolina - unbeaten in the SEC and winners of 33 straight games - at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.

Rickea Jackson scored a game-high 26 points and Angel Reese contributed 22 to help Tennessee hold off LSU. Despite missing six minutes due to an offensive foul, Jackson's effort helped UT overcome Tigers' 17-point comeback in the second half.

4. Mississippi State

On Saturday night, Auburn fans weren't expecting much out of their team; yet somehow the Tigers managed to ride their momentum into SEC play. Up against Texas A&M - who had lost three straight and was coming off a loss in Texas - Auburn put together one of its most complete team victories of the season to earn a 26-10 victory.

The Bulldogs boast an impressive offensive team led by junior quarterback Will Rogers, who is completing over 70% of his passes. He averages over 200 passing yards per game and has 23 touchdowns through the air. Rara Thomas leads all receivers with 456 receiving yards at an impressive 15.2 yards per catch.

Mississippi State began the game with a great drive, gaining 108 first-half yards. They then drove down the field and scored on Rogers' 13-yard pass to Caleb Ducking for an 11-0 lead with 6:22 remaining in the first half.

In the second quarter, Auburn had a chance to take the lead but an incompletion from Robby Ashford to Ja'Varrius Johnson over the middle was ruled high. Though inconsequential, it allowed Miss State to move the ball deep into Auburn territory.

Finally, the Bulldogs' defense came through and limited Auburn to just three points on the night. That included a stop on third-and-long when Cadillac Williams and Zac Etheridge raced down the sideline for a stop at the line of scrimmage.

Auburn last had the lead against Auburn on September 16th, but were overwhelmed in the second half to lose by Alabama. While still possessing a formidable offense, it will be tough for them to overcome a Bulldogs team hungry for victory and eager for next weekend's matchup with Alabama.

5. Arkansas

After their impressive win against Tennessee in the SEC Tournament, the Tigers are riding a wave of momentum into the SEC Tournament. Now they need that same drive against Texas A&M on Thursday.

Auburn has a great chance to extend their SEC winning streak to five games, but they must continue playing like the Tigers have shown throughout their recent success. On Tuesday evening, they'll face off against an undefeated home team that's won three straight games this year; thus, Auburn needs to put on its best SEC game in order to come out on top.

Arkansas, on the other hand, lacks the same cohesive unit as some of its SEC opponents. Its defense ranks last in the conference by allowing more plays of 30-plus yards than any other team and it ranks 123rd nationally when it comes to defending 20-plus yard plays.

Sam Pittman has struggled to win an SEC game during his three seasons as head coach of Arkansas, yet he's led them to four league victories and a bowl appearance. Despite this setback, Pittman remains undefeated in SEC play since taking over for Bill Bowden during his freshman year.

One of the reasons for Arkansas' success has been their ability to protect the ball. They rank in the top half of the SEC for passing efficiency and have 21 sacks.

They rank in the top third of the conference for rushing offense. Their lineup features an array of running backs, led by Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter who both boast at least 100 yards rushing this season.

They've scored 50 or more points in three of their past four games and must do it again against Arkansas on Saturday if they want to secure at least a share of the West Division title.

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