GAME 06: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya - Cancun, Mexico
Time: 7:30 pm CST/8:30 pm EST
Network: CBS Sports Network, Auburn Radio Network
Betting Odds: Auburn -7.0, Over/Under 134.0 via Draft Kings Sportsbook
(Odds/lines subject to change. Visit DraftKings for more information.)
Oh, Auburn is turning into the best version of itself just a few games in, you say?
The Tigers had their smoothest performance of the young season in dismantling a pretty good Bradley squad in the first game in Cancun last night. Auburn completely broke past some shooting woes and went for 56% overall with a 47% clip from three in the 85-64 win over the Braves. Five players hit double figures, and we got to see flashes from just about everyone. Wendell Green and Johni Broome led the way with 14 points apiece, with Jaylin Williams starting things off with two threes. After that, Auburn never looked back, building leads of 25 points and easily taking care of business.
We saw the Tiger bigs control the glass, and Auburn’s defense forced the issue and caused turnovers galore. Chance Westry worked himself into the game a little more, and we’re expecting him to turn into a monster the more comfortable he gets with the game. Allen Flanigan looks more polished, K.D. Johnson seemed to find some more of his manic magic, and Jaylin Williams’ second-straight double-digit game made us all a little more confident in the depth of this team.
Tonight Auburn gets Northwestern in the title game. They’re led by Chris Collins, the longtime Duke assistant, who’s already in his tenth year in Evanston. What Auburn’s going to have to focus on is a team that can rebound the ball well and get plenty of chances to score. They don’t shoot super well (just 41.7% on the year, good for 273rd in the nation), but they’re in the top ten percent in the country averaging over 41 rebounds per game.
Chase Audige and Ty Berry are the guys who can hit threes (both shooting better than 40%), but Boo Buie (fantastic name) is the leader with 14.8 ppg. He and Audige will combine for about 10 assists per game, too.
On the young season, Northwestern has beaten Georgetown on the road and they took down Liberty last night in their semifinal matchup. I’m expecting a slower paced game tonight, with a more methodical team in the Wildcats. However, if Auburn can create some of the same defensive pressure that we saw last night, and if the shots are falling the same way, then the Tigers should have little trouble with this game.
It’s always hard to predict a hot shooting night two days in a row, but Auburn seemed to have it all going on last night. I think that the Tigers will be able to match up well with Northwestern on the glass and slow down their rebounding effort, which will limit their opportunities. Auburn should be able to take advantage of the height differential and keep that national-best block rating up as well. With nearly everyone getting into the scoring game last night, I don’t see any reason that doesn’t continue tonight, if not quite as hot as we saw.
Auburn 78, Northwestern 66