The Auburn Tigers are headed to the Final Four and, in many ways, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Bruce Pearl’s team entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 5 seed and, in order to cut down the nets after earning a trip to Minneapolis, the Tigers had to knock off blue bloods like Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky. Throw in the fact that Auburn was forced to enter its Elite 8 contest without big-time forward Chuma Okeke and it was truly a storybook run.
In keeping with that level of majesty, Charles Barkley was captured on camera in celebration of the program making its first appearance in the Final Four and, appropriately, the Auburn alum was emotional.
Earlier in the tournament, Barkley and colleague Kenny Smith engaged in an entertaining back-and-forth surrounding Auburn’s face-off with Smith’s alma mater in North Carolina and the Inside The NBA crew always has a good time. Still, this was a fun reminder that Barkley is fully invested in the program he calls his own and Auburn’s run was fantastic in many ways.
The Tigers will have a big-time challenge in the form of a match-up with Virginia on Saturday but, for now, Barkley is joined by the Auburn faithful in commemorating an awesome (and unforeseen) four-game performance.