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Auburn vs. Missouri Game Preview and Open Thread

Auburn’s SEC Tournament run kicks off against another group of Tigers.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Thursday March 14th

Opponent: Missouri Tigers (15-16)

Location: Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tennessee

Time: 2:30PM

Network: SEC Network, Auburn Radio Network

Auburn will look to win their 1st SEC Tournament game since 2015 when this happened...

That was Bruce Pearl’s 1st Auburn team that won 3 games in Nashville on their way to an unlikely bid in the SEC Tournament Semifinals where they fell to an undefeated Kentucky team.

Auburn beat Missouri 92-58 back on January 30th. It was the largest margin of victory in an SEC game in Auburn Arena history. 3 Auburn players scored in double figures but what I remember most from that was the contributions from everyone as Auburn had 9 players score at least 6 points.

The winner of today’s game advances to play the #4 seed in the SEC Tournament, South Carolina. Before we get into Missouri, here’s a list of other SEC Tournament games taking place today.

All Games on SEC Network

12PM - #9 Arkansas vs. #8 Florida: Winner Plays LSU Friday

6PM - #10 Alabama vs. #7 Ole Miss: Winner Plays Kentucky Friday

8:30PM - #11 Texas A&M vs. #6 Mississippi State: Winner Plays Tennessee Friday

Get to (Re)-Know Missouri...

Missouri advanced to the 2nd Round after beating Georgia 71-61 last night. Jordan Geist had a career high 30 points for Missouri and will be important for Auburn to slow down in this contest. The senior guard (#15) will look to continue his collegiate career against Auburn and leads Missouri averaging 14 points a game this year. Geist had 11 points and 9 rebounds back on January 30th and was 3-7 from 3-point range.

The only other Missouri player to score in double figures last night was freshmen guard (#1) Xavier Pinson who had 15 in the win over the Bulldogs. He averages 6.4 points a game but had his 2 best games scoring wise in his last 2 games, scoring 20 in the regular season finale against Ole Miss. He scored 11 against Auburn on January 30th.

Auburn’s biggest task in the paint comes from Jeremiah Tilmon (#23), averaging 10.4 points a game and 5.9 rebounds. The 6’10” 250 pounder led Missouri in scoring with 15 points against Auburn in the first matchup.

Another freshmen playing well for Missouri is (#0) Torrence Watson who took 12 shots against Auburn in the first meeting and scored 10 points off the bench. He struggled last night scoring only 4 points but in his last 4 regular season games, he was averaging 15.8 points a game on 15-33 3-point shooting so containing Watson will be important for Auburn.

What to Look for from Auburn...

Auburn comes into this game winners of 4 straight and playing their best basketball of the season. Chuma Okeke has really come into his own here lately scoring 22 points against Tennessee following up his 17 point, 14 rebound performance against Alabama. Okeke is playing his best ball when the lights are shining the brightest.

I’m really curious to see how Bryce Brown plays today. He was spectacular at Auburn Arena but now he’s got to take that shooting prowess on the road going forward. It’s been a struggle for him on the road failing to hit double figures in each of his last 3 road games. He’s 1 behind Tennessee’s Allan Houston for 4th all-time on the SEC 3-point shooting list.

Jared Harper was struggling from 3-point range but he hit 2 enormous 3s in the last 4 minutes against Tennessee. He added 8 assists to his 16 points on Saturday against Tennessee. Auburn needs a good game from Harper in order to advance to Friday.

Score Prediction

There’s a lot of optimism around Auburn’s chances in March and it all starts in Nashville today. Auburn will be the fresher team but Missouri has a game in Bridgestone Arena under their belt. The hope is that Auburn takes this Missouri team seriously and tries to put them away early. Auburn’s clearly the more talented team here and I think it may take longer than expected, but I think Auburn will get it done this afternoon, avenging their 2017 SEC Tournament loss.

Auburn 78 Missouri 64