The Auburn Tigers came into the season a team on the verge of being a good team. A good program, with a not too tough schedule, and a lot of young talent, Auburn was never expected to make it to the NCAA tournament. The Tigers are one or two seasons away from being tournament ready, but that does not mean Auburn is not a threat. Just ask the Illinois Fighting Illini who barely scraped out a two point win after leading by five at the half.
The Tigers looked talented against Illinois, more than that, Auburn competed with a one loss team. Competing is something the Tigers have struggled to do all season against talented opposition. The more Auburn plays the better the Tigers get, almost like Tennessee last season. Frankie Sullivan is a spectacular player and can carry this team beyond expectations, not to mention the addition of young talent that can randomly produce great games during the season. Top SEC teams should watch out because, if the Tigers play like they did against Illinois, they could win a couple big unexpected games against teams like Kentucky and Alabama.
Sullivan is the only crucial senior on this Auburn roster, and, with three four star freshman recruits learning from his tough play, the Tigers will be a competitive team in the SEC next year. Do not expect Auburn to dethrone Alabama as the favorite for the SEC West, but Auburn will clearly give the Crimson Tide much more of a challenge than anyone it faces this year. Auburn is a team on the rise in the SEC.