Faculty GameDay go to, Bruce Pearl, tenting plans

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AUBURN — Auburn basketball’s student section, known as The Jungle, commandeered the space outside Auburn Arena for more than an entire day before the Tigers faced Kentucky in January.

With ESPN’s “College GameDay” in town for Saturday’s Auburn game against Texas A&M (15-9, 4-7 SEC), Jungle vice president Michael Floyd doesn’t expect quite the same turnout. At least in terms of Friday night camping.

But “if the students are there,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl told the Advertiser, “I’ll be there.”

Pearl and his team delivered pizzas to the students the night before the Kentucky game. Pearl told the Advertiser he will always be happy to stop by Friday nights if the space becomes a regular camping ground.

The “College GameDay” schedule is as follows: Auburn Arena doors open for the public at 8:30 am The show airs from 10-11. The game tips off at 11:02 (ESPN).

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Because of the immediate shift from the show to the game, ESPN will not be able to set up the usual large desk at center court. Instead, “GameDay” host Rece Davis and analysts Seth Greenberg, LaPhonso Ellis and Jay Bilas will be seated at a smaller desk in the corner of the court nearest the visiting team’s bench. The Jungle will still be shown in the background as the show airs.

Auburn (22-2, 10-1 SEC) is trying to bounce back after its first loss since November, an overtime thriller against Arkansas on Tuesday.