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Spencer Parlier | | January 15, 2020

Bruce Pearl knows Auburn might not finish the season undefeated — and that's OK

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One of the main storylines this season has been the continued success of the undefeated Auburn Tigers and San Diego Aztecs. The Tigers and Aztecs are No. 4 and No. 7 respectively in the most recent AP Poll. San Diego State credits its grit and toughness for the unbeaten stretch.

But what about the Tigers? How long can Auburn stay undefeated? 

The Tigers will embark on their toughest week of the season when they go on the road to face rival Alabama on Wednesday night and then travel to Gainesville, Florida, to take on the Gators on Saturday afternoon. 

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Bruce Pearl doesn't know if his team will last much longer as one of two undefeated teams in the country — and it doesn't really matter.

"I don't look at us that way, because I want my guys to understand that, look we're gonna get beat. I don't want to lose, I want someone to beat us," Pearl told's Andy Katz on the Jan. 14 episode of the March Madness 365 podcast.

Pearl's interview with Katz begins at about the 6-minute mark of the podcast. This edition of the pod also features an interview with Wichita State's Gregg Marshall and KPI rankings creator Kevin Pauga.  

"It's not about winning games, it's about getting better," Pearl said. "Like right now we are good to very good, but we've not crossed the very good threshold yet. We waste possessions offensively, we haven't shot it very well, we could do a better job rallying to the ball, but you know what? There's room for growth."

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This Auburn team is experienced — five out of Pearl's top six guys are seniors — and they know growth is the name of the game. The Tigers began last year's SEC season 2-4, with a three-game losing streak, but they battled back, won the SEC tournament, landed a No. 5 seed and made the Final Four. 

The Tigers are 15-0, 3-0 in the SEC and have beaten teams such as Georgia, N.C. State, Davidson and Saint Louis. 

"I've got five seniors. They want to make their own history. They're not living off of last year's team," Pearl said. "When you've got seniors, they're counting down. How many games do they got left? What do they left in their career? Twenty, something like that? Take advantage of it. Every single opportunity."

The March Madness 365 podcast is a weekly podcast covering all things college basketball. You can listen and subscribe to the podcast here, on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and Stitcher.

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