Take time to enjoy this run by Auburn

Published 5:30 pm Monday, April 1, 2019

As Jared Harper pulled down the final rebound Sunday afternoon, securing Auburn University’s win to send the Tigers to the Final Four over Kentucky, thousands of fans in Eastern Alabama celebrated, including many in Chambers County.

Not only did that win continue Auburn’s magical year, but now Tigers’ fans can truly dream about two more victories that end with the school’s first men’s basketball title. It also served as a moment in history for college basketball as a whole in Alabama.

College basketball analysts have made plenty of mention about how this is Auburn’s first trip to the NCAA Final Four. However, it’s more than that — this Auburn team is the first team in Alabama ever to make the Final Four.

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The closest the University of Alabama ever got was the Elite Eight in 2004 when it lost to eventual national champion Connecticut.

This is a special season for the Tigers, but not an entirely unexpected one. Auburn was ranked 11th in the nation before the season started by the Associated Press.

The beginning of the season played into those expectations until a loss to Kentucky at home on Jan. 19 sent the team spiraling a bit.

Many in the county wrote the Tigers off after a 27-point blowout by Kentucky in late February in Lexington.  However, that loss on Kentucky’s floor did something to wake up the Tigers because they haven’t lost since.

Since that fateful night in Kentucky, the Tigers shocked Tennessee at home just before the SEC Tournament and rode that momentum into another blowout over the Volunteers in the SEC tournament finals. 

Auburn survived a scare in the first round against New Mexico State, but the name of the tournament is to win and advance. Since that first round, the hot shooting of Bryce Brown and Harper and several other Tigers have carried this team into history.

Even Sunday night, as the jump shots weren’t going down like usual, Auburn scrapped and clawed their way past a good Kentucky team that seemed to have the Tigers’ number all year.

We don’t know how much further this Auburn team will go, but they have a chance to accomplish something special for the whole region. For a school that is known for its football history, they are making a bunch of noise on the court.

If any major Auburn basketball fans in Chambers County have been waiting on a moment like this for years, give us a shout because we would love to speak with you.

All in the region should celebrate this accomplishment, even Alabama fans.

It’s hard to know when this will happen again — if ever.