Auburn football, men's basketball teams are first to face No. 1 opponents back-to-back
While the Auburn football team is set to take on No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday in the latest edition of the Iron Bowl, the Auburn men’s basketball team is in Florida to open its season in the Fort Myers Tipoff. The Tigers took on Saint Joseph’s in the opening game on Thursday and are set to play No. 1 Gonzaga on Friday.
As it turns out, that’s never happened before: A school has never played the No. 1 FBS team and No. 1 Division 1 men’s basketball team on back-to-back days, according to ESPN’s stats and information department on Twitter.
And as Opelika-Auburn News sports editor Justin Lee notes, Auburn has been in a similar situation. Two years ago, the Tigers faced Duke in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 20, 2018, a 78-72 Blue Devils win. On Nov. 24, the Tigers football team squared off against No. 1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium, a game the Crimson Tide won 52-21.
On the men’s basketball side on Thursday, Auburn found itself in a tight battle late with St. Joe’s, with Jaylin Williams’ dunk with less than 15 seconds left ultimately forcing overtime as Bruce Pearl’s group looked to avoid an 0-1 start to its season.
— Nathan King (@byNathanKing) November 26, 2020
In OT, Tigers hoops pulled through for the season-opening victory, winning 96-91.