AUBURN, AL (WBRC) - Can the Auburn men's basketball team advance to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16? First thing's first, and that's what should be a competitive game this Friday between the Tigers and the College Of Charleston in round of the tournament. The Tigers (25-7) will face a plodding, methodical Charleston team (26-7), a team led by the three-headed monster of guard Joe Chealey (18.5 ppg), guard Grant Riller (18.7 ppg) and forward Jarrell Brantley (17 ppg). Charleston features a slow-down offense that is ranked 324th of 351 division teams in pace of play.
Still, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl warns Tiger fans that Charleston has four to five players that could start on any SEC team, and compares the team to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Charleston has beaten Northeastern three times this season, a team that ranks 53rd in national RPI.
If Auburn fans are looking for a comparison to help them size up the game, the Tigers beat Hofstra earlier this season 89-78 while Charleston beat Hofstra 86-85. Says Coach Pearl of his opening round opponent, "They are athletic, they are experienced, and three of their players can go by you in a flash."
Friday's Auburn vs College Of Charleston game tips off at 6:27 CT at the Viejas Center in Sa Diego. If the Tigers beat Charleston, they will face the winner of the Clemson-New Mexico State game in round two on Sunday. Here is the scouting report from Coach Pearl as he met the media on Tuesday.
Interview from WSFA TV, Charleston video from WCSC TV.