Harper then made one of two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to seal it. Riller ended the night with 16 points.
The Tigers' guards will need to hit open shots on the perimeter and find a way to secure long rebounds against an Auburn team that has the size advantage.
But there's a reason the Tigers refer to Harper as their quarterback.
Auburn sophomore guard Mustapha Heron scored 16 points and Jared Harper scored five of his six points in the final minute when the No. 4 seeded Tigers held off the No. 13 seed College of Charleston Cougars 62-58 in a first-round NCAA tournament Midwest Regional game at the Viejas Arena in San Diego on Friday.
"My teammates gave me the ball".
The Tigers were far from themselves shooting-wise, as they made just 5 of 24 attempts from beyond the arc. "I had the confidence of my teammates, the confidence of my coaches and I have the confidence in myself, so I didn't really think about it too much".
Bruce Pearl was hired four years ago Sunday to succeed Barbee, and after a four-year rebuild won a share of the SEC regular-season title and guided the Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2003 despite playing the entire season without two of its best players and losing another key piece, Anfernee McLemore, late in the season to injury. It will face 5-seed Clemson on Sunday at 6:10 p.m. CT (TBS) after the Tigers handled 12-seed New Mexico State 79-68 in the nightcap.
Aubrurn only outscored CofC by 4 points in the second half. Clemson's guards, meanwhile, "are good off the bounce", Auburn guard Bryce Brown said. Get the app and get the game. Auburn shot just 20.8% and the College shot 22.7% from distance.
The game was tied at 56 with under a minute and a half left to play.
With a slow pace and a lot of defense, it is also likely that this game comes down to the wire.
Auburn backup freshman guard Davion Mitchell missed two free throws with 10 seconds remaining in a 61-58 game, but Riller was short on a contested trey before Harper was fouled.
Mitchell scored a season-high 23 points, DeVoe had 22 and Clemson beat New Mexico State 79-68 on Friday night, closing out a flawless opening round for No. 5 seeds.
Jarrell Brantley had 24 points to lead Charleston. He eventually fouled out. Clemson entertained 23 tries from the charity stripe and knocked down 16 of them.