AUBURN – The Auburn men’s basketball team is set to celebrate with its championship rings from the 2018-19 season on Saturday during the football team’s home game against Mississippi State — earning recognition for the Tigers’ SEC Tournament championship and the program’s first-ever berth in the Final Four.
Auburn beat Tennessee for the SEC Tournament title this past spring, capping a wild week in Nashville early on in the Tigers’ magic run in the postseason, which charged all the way to the Final Four in Minneapolis. On the way, Auburn picked up the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional championship, beating Kentucky in the Elite Eight, giving Auburn a second title to celebrate this Saturday.
Last year, Auburn men’s basketball celebrated its SEC regular-season title from the 2017-18 season on the field during a football game at Jordan-Hare. This time, Auburn has twice as many rings to cherish.
The team will be recognized on the field between the first and second quarters.
Auburn football kicks off against Mississippi State at 6 p.m.
Auburn men’s basketball has won six SEC championships in its program’s history, with two coming in the last two seasons.
Auburn won only its second-ever SEC Tournament championship in March, after the first came in 1985. Auburn’s regular-season conference titles came in 1928, 1960, 1999 and 2018.
Auburn made only its second-ever appearance in the Elite Eight, in a showdown with Kentucky in Kansas City, and won there for the first time ever, beating the Wildcats 77-71 in a storybook game in overtime.
Standouts Chuma Okeke, Jared Harper, Bryce Brown and Malik Dunbar are heroes from that run who have since departed from the program. Okeke was picked 16th overall in the NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He could wait a year to sign his rookie contract, The Athletic recently reported, as he continues his ACL rehabilitation. He tore his ACL in a gut-wrenching moment during Auburn’s romp over North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen. In that showdown against Kentucky, he traveled from the team hotel to courtside mid-game and made a stirring appearance behind the team bench as his team charged on to beat the Wildcats.
It’s a story they’ll be telling on the Plains for years to come, along with those about the ice-cold play of Harper, who signed a two-way contract with the Phoenix Suns.
Brown and Dunbar both played in the NBA’s summer league, being evaluated by the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors, respectively.
Auburn’s 2019-20 roster features a strong list of veterans returning from that Final Four run, joined by a set of touted and talented high school prospects who’ve jumped aboard the program’s high-flying success.
Austin Wiley, Samir Doughty, Danjel Purifoy and Anfernee McLemore are all back for their senior seasons.
Elite prospect Isaac Okoro leads a group of youngster signees joining the team as freshmen.
Auburn basketball began fall team activities on Tuesday.