The undefeated Kentucky Wildcats (26-0) host the Auburn Tigers (12-14) on February 21 (7pm on ESPN). Kentucky’s twin brothers, Andrew and Aaron Harrison, will face senior guards K.T. Harrell and Antoine Mason and Auburn’s accomplished, enthusiastic new coach Bruce Pearl.
Pearl joined the Tigers as head coach in 2014. Prior to Auburn, he coached Tennessee (2005-2011), Milwaukee (2001-2005) and Southern Indiana (1992-2001). It’s not a surprise that Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs calls Coach Pearl “a proven winner.” — one of Pearl’s Tennessee squads achieved a #1 ranking. ESPN Basketball Insider’s Jeff Goodman uses the same language, calling Pearl “a proven winner.” Goodman says “it’s just a matter of time before he [Pearl] makes Auburn relevant nationally in basketball.” So far, so good. Auburn has won back-to-back SEC road games for the first time since it won the last two road conference games of the 2009 season. “A third straight road win would be the first time that has happened since it defeated Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina in three consecutive road contests in the 1999 season.” If Pearl’s Tigers beat the powerhouse Wildcats tonight, “proven winner” will go on his tombstone.