Uncharted Waters: It's a first. Never before have Auburn and Alabama won back-to-back regular season titles in basketball. Now they have.
Most of those titles belong to Kentucky. It's been quite common for the Cats to go back-to-back. They have 49 regular season titles.
Auburn will have the opportunity this week to make it consecutive tournament championships for teams from this state.
Alabama pulled off the regular season and tourney titles last year. It was their first regular season title since 2002 and first tourney title since 1991.
Auburn's last regular season championship was in 2018 when the Tigers split with Tennessee. Auburn was the 2019 tournament champion - the same year they made the Final Four.
You have to put into perspective where Bruce Pearl has brought Auburn from. The dry spell was long. The Tigers, prior to Pearl's arrival, had missed the NCAA's every year since 2003. The streak stretched to 2018.
This year, Auburn will be no lower than a No. 2 seed. And, if they win the SEC Tournament in Tampa, expect a No. 1 seed. Auburn has done that just once before - in 1999 under Cliff Ellis.
49 teams have been seeded No. 1 in tournament history. North Carolina has been the most (17). Alabama has never gotten a top seed.
Bama will make the field for the second straight year. They were a No. 2 seed last year. This will be their 22nd appearance. Their longest string of consecutive trips is six from 1982-‘87 under Wimp Sanderson.
Auburn missed the last two Big Dance invites. This will their 11th time in the tournament. Their longest consecutive run in the NCAA’s was five straight from 1984-‘88 under Sonny Smith.
That talk of Wimp and Sonny has returned. Those were good times in this football-crazy state.
Fans like their basketball too. Nate Oats brought some Crimson Tide fans back last year. And Bruce Pearl is doing the same at Auburn.
As we start filling out brackets, we have the choice to pick one or the other. That hasn't been that luxury much. It’s happened just once (2018) since 2004.
Though Bama has not had a season like Auburn, they are still projected as a No. 5 seed by Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi. That means that the Tide and Tigers will likely be collectively higher seeded than ever before.
Here’s a look back when both made the tournament in the same year and their seeds:
2018: Alabama (9), Auburn (5)
2003: Alabama (10), Auburn (10)
1987: Alabama (2), Auburn (8)
1986: Alabama (5), Auburn (8)
1985: Alabama (7), Auburn (11)
1984: Alabama (9), Auburn (5)
Here's the link to join our group through the ESPN Bracket Challenge. Good luck and enjoy.