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Game Preview and Open Thread - Auburn @ Alabama

The Tigers look to stay perfect in the SEC.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Mississippi State Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!”

We’ll definitely have more than a solitary advance through the rest of this season, but this one looms large just five games into the SEC schedule.

Auburn visits Alabama tonight at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa for a 6 pm CST tipoff, and this game may have more attached to it than any meeting in recent history. The Tigers are 4-0 in the SEC, still the lone perfect team in conference play. Auburn’s also won fourteen straight games, for the moment tied with Purdue as the nation’s longest current streak. Win tonight, and the Tigers hold onto that mark on their own for a few more days.

Still, after having beaten Tennessee and Mississippi State on the road, Arkansas at home, and falling behind by double digits in three of their four wins, this game feels like it may be the toughest of them all. Alabama’s got one of the best freshman in the country in Colin Sexton, they’ll have a crowd of more than 15,000 there tonight (unless the weather precludes that from happening), and they’ll be itching to end Auburn’s streak.

Looking at the Tide, it’s pretty apparent that everything revolves around Sexton. He’s gone for 40 once already this season (in that bizarre game against Minnesota), and he’s hit 30 once as well. Overall, he’s averaging 19.2 ppg, and he’s a big guard that can really do it all.

Normally, he’s got plenty of help from the starters, with guard John Petty (11.7 ppg), forward Donta Hall (11.5 ppg), guard and Dazon Ingram (11.1 ppg) making up a pretty formidable core group. Unfortunately for them, and great for us, is that Donta Hall underwent a minor surgical procedure and won’t be available for tonight’s game. He’s their leading rebounder and will be a sorely-missed presence on the glass. For a team that ranks 232nd in the country in total rebounding with Hall, Auburn should be able to dominate in second-chances tonight.

Also, Avery Johnson’s trying to stir the pot a little bit.

Until we make the tournament, Auburn will always be the underdog. Put Auburn’s resume on a number of other teams and they’re in the top ten (or higher), and so we’ll keep wearing our shirts when and where we want to. Time to get a huge win in Tuscaloosa tonight.

HOW TO WATCH AND LISTEN - Auburn @ Alabama - 6 pm CST - Tuscaloosa, AL

TV: SEC Network

Radio: Auburn Sports Network