What's the record for most combined points scored in a SEC basketball game? There's a chance this one can reach that number.
Auburn and Arkansas are two teams who love to play fast. They both average quite a few points per game (Arkansas at 81.1 per game, Auburn at 80.5). They both give up a lot of points (Arkansas at 74.5, Auburn at 79.4). They're pretty even in most other statistic ESPN puts up on their site. Perhaps that's why the spread on this one is just one point, even though Arkansas has the better record at 21-7 (10-5) than Auburn at 17-11 (6-9).
For the Hawgs, the star is senior Dusty Hannahs. He's averaging 14.5 points per game. Junior Daryl Macon is right behind with 13.5 per game, The Razorbacks are an experienced team. All four of their top scorers (who average 10+) are juniors or seniors. You have to go down to their 9th leading scorer (CJ Jones, 3 ppg) before you get to a player who isn't a junior or senior.
Auburn, of course, is a very young team. There's a good chance that you'll see five freshmen on the floor for the Tigers on occasion. Or, you may see four freshmen and one sophomore.
The best configuration for the Tigers, though, is one in which TJ Dunans and Ronnie Johnson are on their game. When those two are playing well, then the Tigers' offense is nigh unstoppable. They can dish the ball around to the shooters, force it inside to Austin Wiley, or take it to the basket themselves. When those two are on, Auburn becomes a thing of beauty.
Of course, when they're NOT on their game, Auburn becomes nigh unwatchable as the Tigers force bad shots, give up horrible turnovers, and play like trash.
Arkansas doesn't shoot many three-pointers, but when they do, they've very accurate. Auburn has had a tendency to let teams get open looks and get hot from 3. With Arkansas' ability to score points, that's something Auburn cannot let happen. They have to force the Hawgs to go to the basket and have to rebound well. Arkansas isn't the best at rebounding on their own boards, but that's in part because they don't miss very often and don't have to rebound very much.
Auburn really needs this game to almost assure a post-season birth of some form. It's a winnable game, but only if the Tigers' defense can make stops and the offense gets into a rhythm and doesn't make dumb mistakes. If you like watching points be scored, this is probably going to be the game for you.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Time: 7:30 pm Central
TV: SEC Network
Listen: Auburn Sports Network