Alabama broke a five-game losing streak that had left the Crimson Tide without a win since February 13, when their NCAA hopes were strong. And Sexton said they told him, in particular, "Every time I'm open, just shoot it".
Alabama staggered into St. Louis on a five-game losing streak, having drop-kicked a seemingly secure NCAA status in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Despite the 81-63 loss, which saw Auburn surrender a 10-point halftime lead and go more than 10 minutes before hitting its first field goal of the second half, the Tigers aren't dwelling too much on the result.
Sexton then took the ball the length of the court for a game-winning buzzer-beating finger roll. Donta Hall, a double digit forward for the Tide, had a pretty scary moment during the game.
In order to have a chance of knocking off the top seed Friday, Sexton must match the production from his last two games, both against Texas A&M, in which he combined for 50 points. The Crimson Tide outshot the Aggies 48 percent to 39 percent which ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.
"Something we can learn from this", Kennedy said, "is that the game's not over until the buzzer goes off". And I think, once we got to that point with 11 minutes to go in the game (Thursday), we got a little bit careless.
"It's definitely a game we wanted to get just because of the rivalry", Auburn guard Bryce Brown said".
Alabama also has a victory over then-No. Auburn will receive its bid to the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday at 5 p.m. CT on TBS.
Even with the loss, the Aggies appear likely to reach the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons after beginning the day 25th in RPI. Defensively, Auburn basketball yields 73.1 points per game against the opposing teams.
Collin Sexton scored 21 of those second-half points, almost outscoring the Tigers all by himself. "It's the SEC Tournament, so you've got to bring it". After picking up two early fouls in the first half, Starks was electric in the second half, driving to the basket and making a clutch three-pointer in crunch time. We got stuck against their zone in the second half, but they just persevered ... The Tigers drew up a play for their leading scorer, Kassius Robertson. One such thing came with the Crimson Tide down 70-69 with less than five seconds left. The trend continued throughout the contest: Missouri made a run, Georgia responded. The second half, though, was a different matter. "I thought we overcame adversity today".