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Auburn’s Bruce Pearl rips into fans who criticized Chad Baker-Mazara for his NCAA tournament eviction: ‘Stop it’

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Long duration Auburn Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl once again speaks out on Chad Baker-Mazara’s early ejection from the Tigers’ first-round loss in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The junior guard was ejected for a flagrant 2 foul with less than four minutes elapsed on Auburn’s first quarterback play. game against Yale on March 22.

“It’s a pretty tough decision. He had been hit about five seconds earlier, got tangled, had a little nudge, they let him pass, maybe no one saw it, and about five seconds later, Chad hit him,” Pearl said. after the game. “It was inappropriate. Clearly a flagrant 1. The fact that it was elevated to a flagrant 2 was a decision that the manager had to make, but it obviously had a huge impact on the outcome.”

But on Thursday, Pearl turned his attention to the Auburn faithful who he said have been too critical of Baker-Mazara.

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Head coach Bruce Pearl of the Auburn Tigers during their game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Neville Arena on January 9, 2024 in Auburn, Alabama. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

“I’m just going to say to the Auburn family, even though I know you’re disappointed, that if someone made fun of your son, you would defend your son a little, right?” ” Pearl said via the Associated Press. “Stop playing with my son. Stop it. He apologized. He made a mistake. And I’m calling you out. I don’t have it. For those on social media who want to continue, unfollow these people .Stop it.”

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While Baker-Mazara is certainly a key part of Auburn’s rotation, the team’s inability to maintain possession throughout the game contributed to the loss.

“Chad is one of our best players, he’s one of our best playmakers and he was a big part of our game plan, so losing him in that situation really, really disrupted our team on both sides of the field,” added Perle.

Bruce Pearl vs. LSU

Bruce Pearl of the Auburn Tigers walks before the game against the LSU Tigers at Neville Arena on January 13, 2024 in Auburn, Alabama. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

In addition to the 14 turnovers committed by Auburn, Yale benefited from a significant number of trips to the free throw line.

But associate head coach Steven Pearl argued the results likely would have been different if Baker-Mazara had been on the field for the entire duration of the game.

“We beat Yale by 20 points if Chad plays in this game,” Pearl said March 19 on “The Next Round.” “I don’t want to dance around that. I’m obviously not trying to disrespect Yale, but we’re way better than them and we should have beaten them without him.”

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Baker-Mazara entered the first-round game with Yale averaging 10.3 points. But he didn’t score before the expulsion.

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