Observations: Tennessee 67, Auburn 62
The Tigers missed a chance to clinch an SEC title in their third straight loss away from home — a mix of problems that were surprising and all-too-familiar.
SG K.D. Johnson (Auburn Athletics)
Auburn was less than 16 minutes away from clinching an SEC title.
Tennessee had gotten some life with a fast-break bucket and a free throw off a technical foul on Jabari Smith, but Auburn responded with four quick points by Walker Kessler to grab an 11-point road lead against a team with arguably the best home résumé in college basketball this season.
Then Tennessee hit a 3-pointer off an offensive rebound to cut the lead to single digits. Then the Volunteers got three free throws on their next two possessions. Then came a second-chance dunk, followed by a game-tying 3-pointer.
Auburn’s offense during that stretch? Missed 3-pointer, missed 3-pointer, turnover, turnover, missed jumper. By the time Auburn hit another field goal, it had missed 12 straight shots in the span of 9:22.
The Tigers hit seven of their last 12 shots from the floor, but the damage was done. The Volunteers hit their last five field goals and 12 free throws inside the final five min…