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Game Preview and Open Thread - Auburn vs LSU

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Second straight Tigers vs Tigers matchup for Auburn!

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Right now, Auburn’s predicted to win the SEC regular season title. THINK ABOUT THAT. We go from fifteen years since our last postseason bid to a possible conference regular season crown just like that? I’m loving it, and you should be too.

Still, we’re only seven games in to a long SEC schedule. We still have to play Florida and Kentucky, get revenge on Alabama, and play road games at Ole Miss, Georgia, South Carolina, and Arkansas. However, Auburn’s the highest-ranked SEC team right now and has the best record in the league at 6-1.

That will be tested this evening against LSU at Auburn Arena.

The Bayou Bengals come in tonight at just 12-7 overall, and 3-4 in the SEC. Don’t let those losses fool you, though. Defeats to Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Vanderbilt have come by a combined 18 points. LSU doesn’t really have a huge loss save for a 92-53 drubbing at the hands of Notre Dame at the Maui Invitational before Thanksgiving.

They’ve got some talent, for sure. Most notably, Auburn will need to watch out for Tremont Waters, the team’s leading scorer (15.7 ppg) and assist guy, dishing out roughly six assists per game.

Waters is joined by 6’10 forward Duop Reath (13.8 ppg) and 6’4 guard Skyler Mays (11.2 ppg) as the only double-digit scorers on the squad, but there’s a host of role players that’ll also get in to show off certain skills as well. Aaron Epps is a 6’9 senior frontcourt guy that leads the team in rebounds, and Brandon Sampson’s a player that can bust out for close to 20 points unexpectedly as well.

What LSU does well also meshes pretty nicely when they’re playing Auburn. Will Wade’s team doesn’t give up a bunch of threes (opponents are hitting just 32% from downtown) and they don’t foul a whole lot either. LSU ranks in the top 20% in the country in terms of opponents heading to the line.

For Auburn, I like to believe that we’ve seen a nice spark come from Mustapha Heron’s dunk last weekend against Georgia. The Tigers have been pretty consistently great after halftime, with four 50-point second halves to their credit in SEC play. The last game against Missouri was no different, torching the CoMo Tigers with a barrage of threes from Jared Harper and Chuma Okeke after halftime. Couple that with some super aggressive handsy defense, and Auburn turned Mizzou over again and again on the way to a giant road win.

It may not be that easy to make LSU turn the ball over, as LSU’s given up just 71 turnovers in SEC play, which is best in the league. Hopefully the home atmosphere and a continued rhythm from Wednesday night pays off for Auburn and we see the good Tigers improve to 7-1 in the conference.

HOW TO WATCH AND LISTEN - Auburn vs LSU - 5 pm CST - Auburn, AL

TV: SEC Network

Radio: Auburn Sports Network