It was fitting that on late Saturday night with most of the country watching, the best player during Auburn's second-round win over Kansas was Bryce Brown.
The same Brown that has helped set the foundation for Auburn to establish itself as a basketball program.
Freshman year saw Auburn upset No.14 Kentucky at home, but this was a lone bright spot on the season. During his sophomore season, Brown witnessed the first winning record in school history since 2008-09.
In the next two seasons, Auburn finished as conference champions — both regular season and tournament — not to mention back-to-back NCAA appearances.
And now a Sweet 16 appearance for the first time in school history since 2003.
“I didn’t see myself being in the spotlight that I am in now," Brown said. "Just like the rest of my teammates, this isn’t what we predicted coming out of high school."
"We’ve worked so hard to put ourselves in a position like this, but you know, we just didn’t know that it was this close in the future."
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Auburn and Brown proved the doubters wrong as the offense rolled in an 89-75 win over Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Brown and the Tigers are ready for the challenge that awaits them in the Sweet 16.
“The time is here, and I feel like we’re able to knock off anybody," Brown said. "We’re as hot as any team in the country right now. We’re not going to stop.”
For Brown, he finished with a game-high 25 points after going 7-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Brown complemented his hot night with broken records as he set the program record for most 3-pointers in an NCAA Tournament game with seven makes from beyond the arc.
Brown credited his successful shooting night on his touch and teammates.
“I honestly felt it in warmups, the touch I had, nice soft touch, just releasing it," Brown said. "My teammates, they hit me in unbelievable spots. They hit me at times that I wasn’t even open and they just really like when I catch and shoot the ball. And that’s what I did, and it just worked out in our favor.”
Not only did Brown break the single-game record, but he also has set the record for most threes made by an Auburn player in the NCAA Tournament with nine through the first two rounds.
Brown's 372 career 3-pointers give him sole possession of second most all-time in the SEC.
Auburn heads to Kansas City next Friday to play the winner of 1-seed UNC and 9-seed Washington for a spot in the Elite Eight.
Brown said that he will continue to push to continue his final season in an Auburn uniform.
"We just want to keep on keeping this thing going," Brown said. "It’s my senior year. I’m going to give it my all every chance I get. I’m playing for the fans, I’m playing for my family, and I’m playing for Auburn."
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