Ben Raab, Contributing Photographer

Follow along for live updates from Spokane as Yale plays Auburn in the first round of this year’s March Madness. 

In a stunning victory, the Bulldogs took down the Tigers in the first round of March Madness. No. 13 Yale — the 13.5-point underdogs in the matchup — defeated No. 4 Auburn 78–76. 

Forward John Poulakidas ’25 had a stellar performance, racking up a season-high 28 points on 10-15 shooting from the field.

Fouls were flying in Spokane Arena. Auburn’s Chad Baker-Mazara was ejected from the game on a Flagrant 2 foul less than four minutes into the game, and Yale’s Danny Wolf ’26 fouled out in the second half.

On Sunday, the No. 13 Bulldogs will face No. 5 San Diego State in Spokane for a spot in the Sweet 16. 

– Evan Gorelick ’25 and Sophie Sonnenfeld ’25, Print Managing Editors; Spencer King ’25, Sports Editor; and Anika Arora Seth ’25, Editor-in-Chief & President

Second Half, 0:33.6 Yale 78, Auburn 76


Second Half, 0:33.6 Yale 75, Auburn 72

Wolf fouled out of the game. The crowd is all Yale.

Second Half, 1:07 Yale 73, Auburn 72

Poulakidas makes another three as the game sees another great rebound by Mbeng. 

Yale ball.

Second Half, 2:32 Yale 70, Auburn 70

Wolf ties the game from the free-throw line.

– Sophie Sonnenfeld, Managing Editor

Second Half, 3:29 Yale 66, Auburn 70

Poulakidas continues to make tough shots for Yale, hitting a high-arcing fadeaway jumper to bring the Bulldogs back within four.

Mbeng has been all over the defensive side of the ball, grabbing his fourth steal of the game a moment ago.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

Second Half, 6:32 Yale 61, Auburn 68

Danny Wolf is starting to come alive with a driving layup and his first three pointer of the game.

Mbeng, the two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, knocked down a three as well in addition to forcing two steals.

Yale has been unable to slow down the Tigers on the other end, as Auburn’s Broome now has 20 points.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

Second Half, 11:16 Yale 48, Auburn 55

Yale’s poor free throw shooting is hurting them as Wolf misses the front end of a one-and-one.

Tigers shooting 12-13 from the line, while the Bulldogs are at 10-17.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

Second Half, 15:39 Yale 46, Auburn 53

A 10-2 Tigers run puts the Bulldogs back where they started the second half.

Yale is still struggling with turnovers and has struggled to inbound the ball on multiple occasions this half.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

Second Half, 15:39 Yale 44, Auburn 43

Crowd is getting loud in the Spokane arena as the Bulldogs take their first lead of the game.

Samson Aletan looked to be in space for a wide open dunk, but a spectacular block from Auburn’s Broome takes two points off the board.

Tigers shooting two free throws on the other end. 

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

Second Half, 17:18 Yale 43, Auburn 43

Knowling ties the game with a free throw.

Poulakidas opened the half with back-to-back threes. He’s got 18 points and 5-6 from behind the arc.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

HALFTIME  Yale 34, Auburn 41

At the half, No. 13 Bulldogs trail the No. 4 Tigers 41–34.

It was a mixed first half for Yale, who turned the ball over nine times and surrendered several easy buckets but stayed within single digits thanks to stellar shooting from Poulakidas and Mahoney. The two have combined for 22 of Yale’s 31 points, on 6-10 shooting.

Danny Wolf has struggled against Auburn’s Johni Broome, who has 13 points and nine rebounds while Wolf is 1-8 with two points on the day.

Bez Mbeng has been terrific defensively for the Elis, but has struggled against the Tiger press with four turnovers.

There is a large Auburn contingent in the crowd, but many of the local fans in Spokane arena have been cheering for Yale.

In the locker room, Jones will likely be telling his team to pressure the ball more defensively and take care of the ball on offense.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

First half, 2:46 remaining | Yale 32, Auburn 36

Poulakidas buries his third three of the half to keep Auburn from pulling away. 

Wolf, Yale’s leading scorer, has just two points on 1-3 from the field.

Tigers coach Bruce Pearl was yelling at his players in the huddle, telling them to do a better job closing out on Mahoney and Poulakidas.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

First half, 6:15 remaining | Yale 25, Auburn 31

Coach James Jones is not happy as Auburn’s Broome steals the ball from Wolf and gets an easy fastbreak dunk.

The Bulldogs have already turned the ball over seven times.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

First half, 7:12 remaining | Yale 25, Auburn 28

The Bulldogs – who play at one of the slowest paces in the nation – are doing a good job of controlling the tempo on offense. 

Yale has found Matt Knowling around the rim twice for shot-clock beating floaters.

The Elis are also out-rebounding the Tigers 10–9, limiting second chance points.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

First half, 8:53 remaining | Yale 21, Auburn 24

Head coach James Jones is turning to his bench to keep up with the Tigers’ fast-paced style of play. 

Nine Bulldogs have registered minutes so far, including first-year center Samson Aletan ’27, who has played sparse minutes this season.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

First half, 11:16 remaining | Yale 21, Auburn 24

Bulldogs are in the game, but struggling to respond to the Tigers’ full-court pressure. 

Yale already has five turnovers. 

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

First half, 11:49 remaining | Yale 19, Auburn 20

Yale’s two sharpshooters, Mahoney and Poulakidas, have combined for 3-3 from behind the arc early on, including an and-one four point play from Poulakidas.

Poulakidas leads the Bulldogs with nine points.

Auburn has already picked up eight fouls, putting them in the bonus. Yale will shoot free throws after every Tiger foul for the rest of the half.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

First half, 15:24 remaining | Yale 12, Auburn 10

A three from John Poulakidas ‘25 has the Bulldogs back in it after a slow start.

Tigers star Johni Broome leads Auburn with nine points and three rebounds.

In a wild early sequence of events, Auburn’s Chad Baker-Mazara has been ejected from the game for an elbow that was ruled a flagrant two by the referees. 

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

First half, 20:00 remaining | Yale 0, Auburn 0

Bez Mbeng ’25, August Mahoney ’24, John Poulakidas ’25, Matt Knowling ’24 and Danny Wolf ’26 are Yale’s starting five. 

Head Coach James Jones is going with the same starting lineup as usual as Yale looks to pull off a March Madness upset. 

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter

SPOKANE — No. 13 seeded Yale is set to face off against No. 4 Auburn today in the March Madness round of 64.

The Bulldogs punched their ticket last Sunday after a buzzer-beating layup narrowly lifted them over Brown in the Ivy League tournament finals. Meanwhile, the Tigers are coming off of a dominant three-game run in the SEC tournament capped by an 86–67 win over Florida in the championship game. 

Led by head coach James Jones, Yale is seeking its second-ever NCAA tournament win. In 2016, Yale made history by knocking off Baylor 79–75 before losing to Duke in the following round

March Madness is a tournament known for its upsets. No. 13 seeds have an all-time record of 32-120 against No. 4 seeds — a 21.05 winning percentage

The game is set to tip-off from Spokane Arena at 4:15 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on TNT.  Follow this live blog for in-game updates and analysis.

– Ben Raab, Staff Reporter