Make your home page

Auburn’s Bruce Pearl fights back tears after Elite Eight win

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIAT/AP) – For the first time in school history, Auburn basketball is Final Four bound. Reporter Simone Eli spoke with head coach Bruce Pearl on the court after the win.  You can see his emotional reaction above.

Two days after losing starting forward Chuma Okeke to a major knee injury, the fifth-seeded Tigers beat second-seeded Kentucky 77-71 in overtime in the NCAA Midwest Region final.

Auburn (30-9) overcame PJ Washington’s 28 points and 13 rebounds, foul trouble and a slow start to punch its ticket to Minneapolis for its first appearance in the Final Four. The Tigers play No. 1 seed Virginia in a national semifinal Saturday.

Jared Harper had 12 of his 26 points in overtime, and Bryce Brown scored 17 of his 24 points after halftime to lead the Tigers’ comeback.

Auburn had opened the game missing 8 of its first 9 3-pointers and trailed by 11 at the midway point of the half. Kentucky finished the season 30-7.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)