"We knew we were a bubble team and our chances were 50-50 and it didn't go our way," Fortner says. "This will serve as great motivation for the players returning. It is not going to happen to Auburn women's basketball again and that is the only way we can look at it right now."
The Tigers advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year in Joe Ciampi's last year as head coach. AU was eliminated by eventual national champion UConn.
This year's team probably needed to win either one more regular season conference game or advance to the semi-finals of the SEC Tournament to make the NCAA field.
Only five SEC teams were selected for the 64-team tournament, which is an unusually low number for the conference which has had six or more every season since 1992.