Auburn avoids epic collapse vs. New Mexico State in dying seconds
Tom Pennington / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Auburn is through to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a nail-biting 78-77 win over New Mexico State, but the story is almost as much about how the Tigers nearly suffered an epic collapse in the dying seconds.

With Auburn leading by four with 30 seconds to play, New Mexico State's Trevelin Queen hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one.

Auburn extended the lead back to four points with 10 seconds to play after converting a number of free throws, but the Aggies weren't done yet. Senior guard JoJo Zamora drilled a 3-pointer with eight seconds left to narrow the advantage to a single point yet again.

After Auburn split a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession to push the lead to just two, New Mexico State's AJ Harris went nearly the length of the court and exploded into the paint, seemingly destined for a game-tying layup.

Instead, Harris opted to throw the ball out for an attempt at a game-winning triple by Terrell Brown, who was fouled on the shot and given a chance to potentially win the contest by making three free throws.

Brown made only one of his three attempts from the charity stripe, but the Aggies still weren't done. After Brown's last miss, the ball was batted out of bounds by the Tigers, giving the Aggies possession while down 78-77 with 1.1 seconds remaining. New Mexico State inbounded the ball from the baseline and somehow found Queen for an open 3-pointer from the left corner, which sailed wide of the net.

Auburn fans' reaction to the game can probably be summed up best by Tigers alum Charles Barkley, who got a special message from Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl postgame.

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Auburn avoids epic collapse vs. New Mexico State in dying seconds
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