There might be teams better than Auburn.
There is no team tougher, however.
Kansas. North Carolina. Kentucky. They are the titans of college basketball, winners of more games than any other programs. And Auburn, a school where basketball has mostly been something to pass the time between football and spring football, took them out one by one.
Kansas, humbled the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.
North Carolina, routed in the Sweet 16.
And perhaps most satisfying, Kentucky, a team that had walloped Auburn a little over a month ago, sent home short of the Final Four for another season.
Those wins in and of themselves would be worthy of praise and admiration. But Auburn’s biggest win, on Sunday to reach its first Final Four, came less than 48 hours after Chuma Okeke tore his ACL, an injury that created as big a hole in Auburn’s heart and soul as it did in its lineup.