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Game Preview and Open Thread - Auburn @ Arkansas

The final week of the regular season has arrived.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Auburn plays at Arkansas tonight as we hit the final week of the regular season. Tonight and Saturday are the last two games, and two of the last chances that the Tigers have to clinch the top seed in next week’s SEC Tournament and a regular season conference title.

It’s not going to be easy. While Auburn has cooled off from the torrid start to the season, Arkansas has begun to find itself at the right time. This was a team that was ranked when Auburn beat them on the Plains back in January, but they endured a rough stretch, losing four of five during that time.

Over the last three weeks, however, the Hogs have won five of six. During that time, Auburn’s taken a step back. The Tigers lost Anfernee McLemore, and have lost games against Texas A&M (while Bryce Brown was injured), at South Carolina, and at Florida. That means that the Tigers still need a game either way from themselves or Tennessee.

The number game remains the same — if Auburn wins one of the next two, they win the SEC. If Tennessee loses one of the next two, Auburn wins the SEC. Tennessee also plays tonight against Mississippi State, which won’t be an automatic win for the Vols.

It’s also not going to be automatic at Bud Walton Arena.

The Razorbacks’ senior guard combo of Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon combine for 35 points a night, and both shoot at least 43% from three. Auburn took advantage of the Pigs last time out by jumping on top for one of the best halves of basketball they’ve played all year, and then finishing things up by hanging on in the second half as Arkansas made a run.

Now it’s at Bud Walton. That’s a place that brings back some bad memories. Heck, even the 1998-99 team gave up over 100 points in Fayetteville. You can get blasted in Northwest Arkansas without blinking.

It’s simple tonight — win and you’re the 1-seed. But you can’t think about that, it’s got to be all about an opponent that wants revenge and to finish the regular season with a win against the top team in the SEC. We need Bryce Brown, we need Jared Harper, and we need that fire we saw last week against Alabama. Let’s go to work and get ourselves a title. War Eagle.

HOW TO WATCH AND LISTEN - Auburn @ Arkansas - 8:00 pm CST - Fayetteville, AR

TV: SEC Network

Radio: Auburn Sports Network