The Wildcats outscored Alabama 49-31 in the second half - a number that was limited as the Wildcats took their foot off the gas down the stretch - en route to an 81-58 win.
The Tigers will next face No. 1 seed Kansas in the third round of the tournament. "They did not play well offensively", Pearl said. It was the Tigers' first win in the tourney since the First Four in 2011. Person allegedly accepted bribes to steer players to a financial adviser once they turned pro and allegedly funneled money to the families of Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy. The victory was Auburn's first in the NCAAs since 2003. "I feel good about the foundation of our program". I don't think there is a big difference between 5s and 12s, 6s and 13s. "We worked. We worked hard in the gym to make sure we made shots", Auburn guard Bryce Brown said. "We're a little overmatched, and Clemson clearly showed that tonight".
Riller scored the final five points of the Cougars run, and led the team with 12 points going into the break.
Auburn might not have a clear answer for its offensive collapse now.
Clemson led 43-19 at halftime and was up by as many as 41 points about midway through the second half.
Junior forward Elijah Thomas contributed 18 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots to help Clemson (25-9) dominate the contest between schools with the nickname of Tigers.
Auburn and Clemson were chic picks to be upset in the first round, but only Auburn had much trouble.
Clemson, meanwhile, shot 47.5 percent from the field and hit 16-23 free throws.
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Harper then made one of two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to seal it. Riller ended the night with 16 points. "We knew they were good". The team finished the game shooting a season-low 25.8 percent from the floor and was 7 of 30 from beyond the arc. The shooting percentage set a new season-low by 5.7 percent, and the scoring total did the same by nine. I thought that they were dead in the water when Donte Grantham went down with a torn ACL. "The easy looks don't go in all the time". I didn't think they had a chance to get to the tournament before the season started. It's never been stronger, and we feel the responsibility ... winning the regular season championship, to represent our conference.
But Sunday's blowout loss to Clemson does send the team into the offseason on a sour note. "It was tough to get to our spots", Harper said.