The Auburn Tigers have not had a long history in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. The basketball program dates back to early 1900s and first appeared in the Big Dance in 1984. It wasn’t until the following season when they won their first tournament game and advanced to the Sweet 16. Overall, Auburn has appeared in over seven NCAA Tournaments and won more than 10 games in March.
The Tigers had their most successful run in the NCAA Tournament in the mid-1980s. Auburn appeared in the NCAA Tournament in five consecutive years from 1984-1988 under the guidance of Sonny Smith. Smith is the only Auburn coach to lead the program to three consecutive 20-win seasons. Smith also led the Tigers to a conference championship and coached NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley during his tenure.
Under Smith and led by future NBA player Chuck Person, the Tigers had their most impressive run in the NCAA Tournament in 1986. Auburn advanced all the way to the Elite Eight, their only appearance in program history. However, more impressive is the fact they defeated number one seed and number one ranked St. John’s in the second round by the score of 81-65. In 37 minutes, Person scored 27 points to go along with 15 rebounds to lead the Tigers to their biggest win in program history.
Auburn Tigers Recent NCAA Tourament History
The Tigers last reached the NCAA Tournament in 2003 as the number 10 seed and advanced to the Sweet 16 before losing a heartbreaker to number 3 seed Syracuse by one, 79-78. The Tigers were led by Marquis Daniels who finished the game with 27 points and nine rebounds.