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#17 Auburn vs Texas A&M Basketball Preview and Open Thread

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Auburn looks to finish the season undefeated in the Jungle.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Auburn Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Wednesday March 4th

Opponent: Texas A&M Aggies

Location: Auburn Arena

Time: 6PM

Network: ESPN2, Auburn Radio Network

Thank you Seniors. Thank you Samir Doughty. Thank you J’Von McCormick. Thank you Anfernee McLemore. Thank you Danjel Purifoy. Thank you Austin Wiley.

What a senior class! All 5 guys have made major contributions to the program and helped to elevate this program to great heights.

Tonight, Auburn will honor these 5 guys as they play their final home game in Auburn Arena tonight as the Aggies pay a visit to Auburn Arena. While the Tigers lost 5 guys off of last year’s Final Four team, these were the other 5 guys on that team and this will truly be the end of an era as these guys move on to their next chapter of their lives.

It will be the first time Auburn has hosted A&M since the Aggies upset Auburn 81-80 on February 7, 2018, the only home loss of Auburn’s magical 2017-2018 season. Buzz Williams makes his debut in Auburn Arena coaching the Aggies and despite low expectations, his team has surprised many this year, leading his team to an 8-8 SEC record. While it doesn’t sound great, this team looked awful back in November, something we talked about earlier today in our Q&A with Good Bull Hunting posted earlier today.

Get to Know Texas A&M

Senior Forward Josh Nebo (#32) - 12 PPG, 6.3 RPG

Junior Guard Savion Flagg (#1) - 10.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG

Junior Guard Wendell Mitchell (#11) - 9.5 PPG

Junior Guard Quenton Jackson (#3) - 8.6 PPG

Freshman Guard Andre Gordon (#20) - 6.5 PPG

Freshman Forward Emanuel Miller (#5) - 6.4 PPG

Junior Guard Jay Jay Chandler (#0) - 5.8 PPG

Keys for Auburn

First of all, by virtue of Mississippi State’s loss at South Carolina last night, the Auburn Tigers will not begin play next weekend in the Music City until Friday as Auburn will be a Top 4 seed in the SEC Tournament.

Overall, I thought Auburn battled for 40 minutes on Saturday in Lexington. It wasn’t the result we wanted but I watched that game and thought this is a team that could be really dangerous in March IF.... the team shoots better from the free throw line and is finally able to starting knocking 3-pointers at a more consistent rate. Auburn had their opportunities to beat Kentucky in Lexington but these were 2 of the biggest reasons they were unable to do so. While Auburn made their first 4 3-pointers, Auburn went just 5-30 the rest of the way. They also shot 13-22 from the free throw line. Add these two key ingredients up and you’ll see what plagued Auburn in their efforts to knock off Kentucky. My hope is we get to see this match-up once more on a neutral court sometime this month.

Austin Wiley had another double-double Saturday scoring 10 points and had 12 rebounds. Wiley played extremely well in the minutes he was able to play, while dealing with foul trouble. Danjel Purifoy made 3 3-pointers early to set the tone for Auburn but no more on Saturday. Samir Doughty and J’Von McCormick went just 7-24 from the field and 4-9 from the free throw line. It’s an opportunity for Auburn’s back-court to bounce back after a tough loss.

Prediction

Auburn is looking to hang onto that #2 seed and with Auburn tied with LSU, this is a game Auburn must win. Auburn has a game lead on Florida as well as these teams along with Kentucky look to be your Top 4 seeds (in some order) next week. Auburn looks to finish undefeated inside Auburn Arena this season as well. As many games have been, I think this game will be close for awhile but Auburn has too much talent for A&M as they’ll close the home schedule out with a W to send the seniors off right!

Auburn 76 Texas A&M 66