They're also the ones who will be favored heading into Wednesday's matchup against a Kentucky team that is in the midst of a three-game skid - the first ever under John Calipari.
"I was surprised", said Auburn Head coach Bruce Pearl. "We just gotta get a game where we put two halves together and let the winning take care of itself and we'll go from there". Pearl hasn't tweeted directly about his wishes as he mentioned he may do, but he has retweeted a couple articles describing his desire for the crowd to act with respect.
Auburn will be the solid favorite against Kentucky on Wednesday night, but are there reasons to believe that the Wildcats have the shot at an upset? . Barbee, who ran off a 49-75 record in four years as the Tigers head coach, has been an assistant coach at Kentucky since being fired from his position at Auburn. The Tigers' closing schedule includes road trips to South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas.
When the NCAA selection committee revealed its top 16 teams Sunday and where they would be seeded if the tournament were to begin this week, Auburn was the top two seed and ranked fifth overall.
Auburn improved to 22-3 and 10-2 to take a two-game lead in the SEC with another total effort in a 78-61 win over Georgia on Saturday. "This is what we've been looking forward to the whole season".
Pretty good for a program that hasn't made the field since 2003.
The UK-Auburn match-up is set to a 9 p.m. tip-off and will be aired on ESPN2. "That's not our problem". Plus an injury to leading scorer Bryce Brown and an exhibition loss to Division II Barry.
Auburn was the last unbeaten team at home in SEC play at 5-0 before falling 81-80 at Auburn Arena to Texas A&M on Wednesday. Brown practiced on Monday but his status against the Wildcats is uncertain.
Porter, who had surgery November 21 to fix his L3-L4 spinal discs, said he has no concerns about reinjuring his back if he returns.
Florida has had some issues with rebounding and post play without the 6-11, 265-pound senior, who hasn't worked out before a game since January 27 against Baylor. But even that provided a silver lining for Pearl.
"(Kennedy) hit me after and says, "Do you know how young your team is" And I said, 'Yeah, and I'm getting older by the day, '" Calipari said. "'Auburn drops to 10, '" he said.
It's especially great for a team that was picked to finish ninth in the SEC. The Tigers were led by sophomore guard Jared Harper's 24 points, matching his career high. Why are we hiring that official to officiate SEC games?
Harper said hearing all the tournament talk from family or around campus isn't a distraction.
"I haven't read all the particulars about them, other than them having six McDonald's All-Americans, and they've got incredible things", Pearl said. "Just being able to be a part of it would be great".