The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Auburn Tigers meet in a first round NCAA tournament matchup in college basketball action from the Legacy Arena at BJCC on Thursday.
Iowa Hawkeyes Team Preview
The Iowa Hawkeyes come into the tournament after finishing the year with a record of 19-13, including an 11-9 mark in Big Ten conference play. Iowa’s Big Ten tournament stay was short-lived, as the Hawkeyes were bounced by Ohio State in the second round. Kris Murray leads the Hawkeyes in scoring and rebounding with 20.4 PPG and 7.9 RPG while Filip Rebraca has 14.1 PPG and 7.6 RPG. Tony Perkins has 12.5 PPG while Patrick McCaffery and Payton Sandford each have 10 PPG to cap off the group of double-digit scorers for Iowa so far this season. As a team, Iowa is averaging 80.2 PPG on 45.4% shooting from the field, 73.9% from three and 34.3% from the foul line this season.
Auburn Tigers Team Preview
The Auburn Tigers come into the tournament after going 20-12 overall, with a 10-8 mark in SEC conference play. Auburn’s SEC conference tournament stay was short-lived though, as the Tigers were bounced by Arkansas in the second round. Johni Broome leads the Tigers in scoring and rebounding with 14 PPG and 8.4 RPG while Wendell Green Jr. has 13.8 PPG and a team-high 4.2 APG to lead Auburn in assists. Jaylin Williams has 11.1 PPG and Allen Flanigan has 10.1 PPG to cap off the scoring in double figures for Auburn to this point in the year. As a team, Auburn is averaging 72.7 PPG on 44.1% shooting from the field, 31.4% from three and 70.2% from the foul line this season.
I’m backing Iowa here. I just trust the Hawkeyes and their ability to simply outscore any opponent they step into the ring with. Auburn’s not a terrible team by any stretch, but they’ve been inconsistent at times offensively and I just think that Iowa takes advantage and in a pick ‘em, I have to roll with Iowa here.