Bryce Brown sat in front of his locker inside the Sprint Center on Friday evening and clapped his hands.
"We are against the world," Brown said. "Why can not we? That's the motto: Why do not we "
Senior guard shooting Auburn lowered and shook his head, thinking about the night that was. 17-point victory over the top sown North Carolina to advance to the Elite Eight for the second time in school history. A game in which the Tigers lost their best player, Plague Okeke, a torn ACL. 11 win in a row to take the program to the precipice of greatness.
"Why do not we," Malik Dunbar stepped up from his seat in a nearby stall. "It has to be someone; why do not we, man? Here's how it will be, though. They have always hated those who came out on top. We really rose from the concrete …. we will assume the role of an outsider. We rose in the concrete. "
Why do not we? It has become a mantra in the locker room at the Auburn Historical background team and is unlikely to escape through the NCAA tournament.
This is a great question lacked in style tradition expected from the teams that make it far to the program. This improvised slogan was coined by the team last week in Salt Lake City on the eve of his second round match against Kansas – a game in which the Tigers were favored, but I felt like outsiders in the eyes of the public, to go against the program of the third, the winningest college history basketball and true Blueblood sport.
After the Tigers declined the Jayhawks with ease, that the call became louder on the eve of the Sweet 16, where Auburn faced with other traditional powerhouse, top-seeded North Carolina. Tar Heels were eliminated in a convincing manner.
Wins back to back against the blue blood is not surprising Auburn, a team with indisputable certainty at this stage. Losing has never been an option in their minds, but the fashion in which the Tigers sent Kansas and UNC is not right to wait, according to McLemore.
"At the moment we have beaten one of the best teams in college basketball this year, why we can not play in Kentucky and win and go to the Final Four, and then beat the team in the Final Four, eh?" Said McLemore. "We have to lace up his boots just as they lace up their boots up, so why can not we be the one to come out on top? That's where that came from. "
Auburn has never shied away from the game to the coefficient of contempt under coach Bruce Pearl, which is often used as a perceived lack of respect motivational tool for his team. Tigers certainly felt that way for the selection of Sunday, when they got five seeds in the strongest field of the tournament despite the team's top 25, number 18 in the ranking of NET, one of the hottest teams entering the match and win SEC tournament championship.
How were they rewarded? With the glove, which included the top three teams in the all-time wins: Kansas, Kentucky and the SPE, the latter of which will face the Tigers on Sunday at 1:20 pm CT in the Elite Eight.
"This is ridiculous," said McLemore with the NCAA tournament the draw command. "We thought we might be in a better seeding, because we won the SEC championship, so we kind of took it as, you know, we're just taking the role of an outsider again, and we will do our best to kind of come out to the top. I feel that up to this point, we've done well.
"I feel that some teams may have underestimated our firepower as far as running and offensive efficiency, but I just feel that up to this point, why can not we too beat Kentucky? We have to beat UNC and Kansas; Kentucky is just the next step to solidifying our heritage in Auburn basketball ".
Auburn will play again Sunday. Kentucky opened as 2,5-favorite in the eyeglass, and the Tigers would without Okeke, which remains with the team in Kansas City before surgery Tuesday. The crowd inside the Sprint Center will decisively Kentucky blue.
"I definitely feel like we have a shot," said the center Austin Wiley. "Of course, this is nothing new. All will doubt us. It was like the whole tournament … all season. This is nothing new, really. "
The Tigers were not in the Elite Eight in 1986, more than ten years before any player in this team. The program had never been to the Final Four.
They will have a chance on Sunday against the last team to beat them, no less.
This begs the question: why not auburn?
"We know that we have the hardest path to the Final Four, so if we make it there, and we would & # 39; the volume of Kentucky, we know that we will leave our stamp on the history of Auburn basketball," said McLemore. "…. It is a way to make history, so we can not leave anything on the floor."
Especially with Green & # 39 Auburn is whipping reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.