NCAA Tournament: Auburn squeaks past New Mexico State

Auburn 78, New Mexico State 77

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Bryce Brown #2 of the Auburn Tigers shoots the ball against Johnny McCants #35 of the New Mexico State Aggies during the second half in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 21, 2019…

The No. 5 Auburn Tigers squeaked past the No. 12 New Mexico State Aggies 78-77 Thursday in the first round of the Midwest Region in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Tigers rode an eight-game winning streak late in the season that included the school's first SEC tournament championship since 1985.

The Aggies came into the game riding a winning streak of their own. They had won 19 games in a row, claiming both the WAC regular-season and conference tournament titles along the way.

Jared Harper led Auburn with 17 points and Johnny McCants led New Mexico State with 16 points.

The winner of the game will next face the winner of Thursday afternoon's game between No. 4 Kansas and No. 13 Northeastern.

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