Auburn students camp out ahead of 'clash of the titans' meeting with Kentucky
Auburn and Kentucky are set for a big-time showdown at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, and Auburn students are already camping out near the arena with rumors they could get a visit from coach Bruce Pearl.
Earlier this week, there was a lot of talk about Auburn being ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll, as the Tigers checked in at No. 2, while Kentucky is sitting at No. 12. By and large, Auburn is exceeding expectations this season as it was picked to finish fifth in the SEC, Auburn (16-1, 5-0 SEC) is 10-1 in Quad 2 or higher games and 5-0 on the road. The Tigers’ lone blemish was a double-overtime loss to UConn in the Bahamas, but since then have run off 14 straight wins.
Both coaches, neither shy around a microphone, did their part to promote the matchup.
“Anytime you’re in a league and another team is good, you know it’s a significant game … We’ve got to go into the game knowing that the game we’re going to play, we respect all the teams,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “They’re a good team. They’re big, their guard play, they shoot it. They do a lot of stuff to get lobs … They’re really good.”
Pearl struck a similar tone.
“We’ve got to step up in a huge way for Kentucky,” Pearl said. “I think it’s one of the best teams John (Calipari) has had in years. It’ll be a clash of the titans. That’s for sure.”
auburn fans. 23 hours 14 minutes before tipoff against UK. Crazy. pic.twitter.com/oV9PhAAppU
— Vince Wolfram (@vincewolfram15) January 21, 2022
Heard 👀 people camping out tonight might have a special guest come out 😃
— kd (@Swdkd10) January 21, 2022
Meanwhile, Kentucky’s star rebounder, Oscar Tshiebwe offered his perspective on the showdown.
“We just need to go out there and fight,” Tshiebwe said. “People go out and fight for their country. They’re not going to play around; they are willing to die. We are willing to die just to bring a win Saturday. It is going to be a great game for us.”