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Only positives should be taken away from Auburn basketball’s loss to Baylor.
Auburn became the 16th victim to fall at the hands of undefeated, second-ranked Baylor on Saturday 84-72. Of course, despite being down by only five at halftime, the second-half deficit grew as much as 21 points with Auburn completing a back-door cover in the last five minutes of the game. While Auburn fans would have loved to have seen the Tigers pull off the unthinkable, it was a longshot at best, and that is not a knock on Auburn. Fans should not be disgruntled with Auburn’s performance, instead, they should be encouraged.
Baylor is 8-0 against teams at home this season with an average margin of victory over opponents in Waco of 29.6 points per game. Auburn performed substantially better than opponents typically do in Waco. In fact, Auburn played Baylor the second-closest of any other team on the Bears’ home schedule only behind Kansas, who lost by eight. Baylor is one of the most effective teams in the country in turning over its opponents, forcing 18.6 turnovers per game. Auburn protected the basketball against the Baylor pressure, holding onto the ball for only 13 turnovers. Baylor is the top three-point shooting team in the country with 43 percent of their shots dropping beyond the arc. Auburn held them to 36.7 percent from three-point land and just 43.1 percent from the field.
One of the youngest teams in the country (Auburn) went against one of the oldest teams in the country (Baylor) and held their own. With high-profile recruits joining the program next season, Auburn is not far from being in the mix for a national championship.