The Auburn women’s basketball team is going dancing.
For the second year in a row, the Tigers have made the NCAA Tournament, this time as the No. 11 seed of the Lexington region. Auburn will play the No. 6 seed North Carolina State Wolfpack on Friday in Austin, Texas.
Last year, Auburn entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed, downing No. 9 St. John’s in the first round before losing to the top-seeded Baylor Bears.
A trip to the big dance seemed unlikely for Auburn late in the season, following a first-round loss in the SEC Tournament to Georgia. Auburn also lost six in a row late in the year and seven of their last nine after a 15-7 start.
The Tigers join South Carolina, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Missouri and LSU as representatives of the SEC in the tournament. The SEC’s mark of eight teams serves as the highest of any conference for the 2017 tournament.
The winner of the Auburn-N.C. State matchup will take on the victor of No. 3 seed Texas vs. No. 14 seed Central Arkansas.
The last time Auburn was selected for back-to-back NCAA tournaments was in 2008 and 2009. Despite not recording a win against a Top 25 team this season, Auburn sneaks in as one of the NCAA’s “last four in” teams, joining California, Purdue and Northern Iowa on the edge of the bubble.