Auburn and Mississippi State fought for 40 minutes in Nashville, with neither team ever leading by double digits in a defensive battle that had multiple technical fouls. The 4-seed Tigers are moving on to the SEC Tournament championship game with a 73-66 win over 9-seed MSU.

AU will face the winner of 6-seed Florida and 7-seed Texas A&M on Sunday before the NCAA Tournament bracket is set.

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Here are 3 quick takeaways from Auburn’s semifinal victory:

True team effort

Auburn has won many games with at least one of Johni Broome or Jaylin Williams dominating the opponent. Saturday, AU had 5 players in double figures, with Denver Jones’ 13 points leading the way.

Broome (10 points) and Williams (11 points) were among those in double figures. Broome was notably limited to just 23 minutes of playing. He played only 9 minutes in the 1st half after picking up 2 fouls.

It’s a good sign for an NCAA Tournament. Depth can be a difference-maker in the Big Dance, as foul trouble and off days are known to happen at inopportune times.

Josh Hubbard was inevitable, but Auburn finished stronger than MSU

Mississippi State star freshman Josh Hubbard was held to just 3 points in the 1st half. Hubbard went off in the 2nd half, but Auburn managed to keep it from being a total takeover.

Hubbard scored 17 in the 2nd half to finish with 20 points as the game’s high-scorer. It’s a team game, though, and after a 31-31 1st half, the Tigers out-scored MSU 42-35 in the final 20 minutes.

In a single-digit game, every shot matters. Auburn took fewer field-goal attempts but outscored MSU from the field 29-26. The Tigers got to the line more and took advantage. AU made 13-of-16 field-goal attempts in the 2nd half, besting MSU’s 9-of-14.

Double-bye could decide tourney championship game

On Friday, it looked like the double-bye teams might have been at a disadvantage as 1-seed Tennessee, 2-seed Kentucky and 3-seed Alabama were all upset in their tournament games. Sunday, however, the double-bye should be a difference-maker.

Whether the Tigers play Florida or Texas A&M, they will be facing a team playing its fourth game in as many days. As Mississippi State showed, it is still possible to give a hard-fought effort playing a third consecutive game. Playing Game 4 in as many days, though, is likely to have the Gators or Aggies feeling a bit drained, especially if their starters have to play most of Saturday’s semifinal.

This season, Auburn defeated Texas A&M 65-55 on Jan. 9 and fell 81-65 at Florida on Feb. 10.