Bruce Pearl’s Auburn Tigers got past the College of Charleston 62-58 in a tight game on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Afterwards, Pearl shouted out Charles Barkley.
In his postgame interview with truTV, Pearl said the Tigers pulled out the win so that Chuck wouldn’t have to endure mocking from his colleagues over his alma mater being upset.
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“I’m glad we survived and advanced so that Kenny (Smith) and Clark (Kellogg) can’t give Charles a boatload of crap about the 3rd and 14 and the upset and all that stuff. So Charles, that one was for you,” Pearl said.
Though Auburn pulled it out, they sure made it close. The game was tied at the half and Charleston even took the lead with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
Auburn shot just 35.6 percent for the game, made only five of 24 threes (20.8 percent), and they missed more than half their free throws (15 of 32). Charleston was similarly bad from three and made just 50 percent of their free throws. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but it was enough for Auburn to win.
And don’t underestimate how big of a win this was for Chuck, too. He loves Auburn (a whole heck of a lot) and would have been heavily mocked if his team lost.
Related slideshow: 2018 NCAA Tournament (Provided by photo services)