Auburn confident heading into Sweet 16 vs. UNC

Auburn confident heading into Sweet 16 vs. UNC
Auburn men's basketball vs Kansas during the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday (Wade Rackley /Auburn Athletics)

KANSAS CITY (WBRC) - Relaxed, calm and loose is how Auburn felt at practice Thursday morning at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City.

Auburn, which has won 10 straight games, is undefeated in the month of March for the first time in program history.

“Our confidence is at an all-time high coming from the SEC Tournament, beating Tennessee and a couple guys that we play close to, it just shows our confidence is high and we can play with pretty much any team we want as long as we lock into it,” said Auburn forward Anfernee McLemore.

Auburn is only one of two teams left in the tournament lower than a four seed, and the Tigers believe it gives them a chip on their shoulder.

“No one expects us to be here. Everybody expects us to lose. We have a chip on our shoulder and it’s going to be exciting to play tomorrow,” said Auburn center and former Spain Park High School hoops star Austin Wiley.

“We wanted to be here and we felt like we could be here. Our goals this season were to compete in the Final Four and we are two games away from doing that,” added Auburn guard Jared Harper.

The Tigers will rely on what got them here: Fast tempo and three-point shots. UNC, though, is bigger, faster and one of the best rebounding teams in the nation.

“We are going to be ourselves, but the question is how are we going to react if we don’t play great early or when North Carolina hits us in the mouth and shows it’s the men against the boys, that’s going to be the real key,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl.

UNC head coach Roy Williams has only lost once in the Sweet 16 since he's been with the Tar Heels.

"Getting this far, we feel like we definitely can win this thing," said Auburn guard Bryce Brown.

Auburn and UNC tip off Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 WBRC. All rights reserved.