Bruce Pearl was slightly hobbled as he led his team through practice last Monday. He had knee surgery about a year ago, and he said that despite his noticeable limp, he feels much better than he did before he went under the knife.

Pearl was in good spirits. Auburn was in the midst of a 14-game win streak, the longest such streak in the nation. The Tigers were ranked 17th in the AP poll -- the program's first top-25 ranking in 15 years -- and the brand of basketball they're playing is enough to make any coach smile.

Auburn is undersized and, arguably, possesses less talent than many of its opponents. But the Tigers play hard, and they're unselfish. They fight for rebounds and second-chance points and move the ball well.

Heading into the week, Auburn ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring, despite not having a single player in the top 100 in points. Rather, four players average double-figures, and five players average more than five rebounds per game.

"This team has great chemistry," Pearl said.