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Auburn at Alabama Game Preview and Open Thread

Auburn heads to T-Town looking to build off of last week’s momentum.

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

Date: Tuesday March 5th

Opponent: Alabama Crimson Tide 17-12 (8-8)

Location: Coleman Coliseum - Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Time: 8PM

Network: ESPNU, Auburn Radio Network

Get to (Re)Know Alabama...

Freshmen point guard Kira Lewis Jr. (#2) leads the Crimson Tide at 14 points a game. He scored 13 points in the first matchup on February 2nd and shoots 36.8% from 3-point range.

Auburn did a good job containing senior forward (#0) Donta Hall in the first matchup and he’ll be playing in his final home game at Coleman Coliseum tonight. On the season, Hall is averaging 11.1 points and 8.6 rebounds a game. He has 3 consecutive double-doubles coming into tonight. Auburn held him to 8 points and 10 rebounds and doing that again tonight would go a long way in determining the outcome of tonight’s game.

The guy to worry about the most considering how last year’s game in Tuscaloosa went: guard John Petty (#23). That night, Petty made 8 3-pointers and scored 27 points in Alabama’s win over Auburn. Petty comes into this game coming off a 23 point outing against LSU on 5 made 3-pointers. He also played well in Auburn Arena this year, leading the team with 18 points. We’ll see which John Petty shows up tonight but I feel like he’s going to have a big game for Alabama.

Another Alabama player playing in his final home game tonight is guard (#1) Riley Norris who has played well in his last 4 games. He had just 5 points in Auburn but is coming off a 13 point, 9 rebound performance against LSU on Saturday.

What to Look for from Auburn...

It’s no secret Auburn lives by the 3. Take a look at this statistic.

Auburn averages 11.1 3-pointers made a game, which right now, would be an SEC record if it holds up. Bruce Pearl has been asked about this a lot and he, along with our own Son of Crow, essentially breaks it down like this: a 3 is worth more points than a 2. Sounds good to me!

Bryce Brown broke a mini shooting slump on Saturday scoring 24 against Mississippi State. Brown made 5 3-pointers Saturday and it was nice to see him get his confidence back from shooting from long range. Jared Harper may not have had he flashiest game from a points perspective but his game on Saturday cannot be ignored. While scoring just 10 points, he dished out 9 assists, and most importantly ZERO turnovers. He didn’t make a 3 and Auburn is going to need him to make some 3 tonight in Tuscaloosa.

With no Austin Wiley for a 3rd straight game, it’s up to Anfernee McLemore and Horace Spencer to cover the 5 spot. McLemore had 14 points on Saturday, on 4 3-pointers. He’s scored in double figures 3 consecutive games for Auburn. Also, Samir Doughty has done a really job since being moved to a guy coming off the bench. Doughty scored 8 points, made all 3 of his shots in 23 minutes on Saturday. Auburn needs Doughty to play well to have success in March.

Score Prediction

If Auburn wins tonight, it means that the Tigers will have swept both Georgia and Alabama in a season. While Auburn hasn’t always played Georgia twice in a season, it would be the first time Auburn has accomplished this since the 1966-1967 season.


Alabama knows they have to win this game. Auburn knows winning this game would be a blow to Alabama’s NCAA Tournament hopes. There’s also the possibility these two teams meet again next week in Nashville (I’d rather not). Still, sweeping your 2 biggest rivals would be huge for Auburn not only from a reputation standpoint, but perhaps a boost in recruiting down the road. Auburn has some momentum right now and hopefully, winning a few close games will be the start of a great March run. Somehow, someway, and I say this with very little confidence, Auburn gets the job done.

Auburn 74 Alabama 70