The lack of overall wins was an obvious detriment as Auburn finished the season 31-25 overall and was just 11-19 in SEC play. Auburn finished the season as the highest-rated RPI team not in the NCAA Tournament field according to Boyds World.
It wasn't enough to stop Oklahoma State and Baylor from getting regional bids though as the Cowboys finished the season 32-22 and didn't make the Big 12 Tournament while the Bears were 29-24 and lost 12 of their final 14 games to close out the regular season.
One of the things the Tigers were hoping the committee would take into account was the fact that Auburn played three SEC series without leading hitter Joseph Sanders. Playing Ole Miss, LSU and Kentucky with the final two on the road, Auburn was just 1-8 during that stretch. With a healthy Sanders in the lineup this year the Tigers were a very respectable 10-11 in conference action.
In the end the final few spots likely came down to a group of a dozen teams or so with Western Kentucky (37-18), San Diego State (40-21), Kansas (35-22), Southern Miss 35-23) all getting in with at-large bids. The Golden Eagles were the lowest-rated RPI to get in the field of 64 as an at-large with a 57 rating according to Boyds World.
One of the problems for bubble teams happened over the weekend as number seven seed Sam Houston State upset top seed Texas State in the Southland Conference tournament to take away one of the at-large spots for a potential team. Another was Utah, winning the Mountain West Conference tournament and taking away a spot.