Auburn vs. Kansas - 3/23/19 NCAA March Madness Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Auburn at Kansas
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 8:40 PM (Vivint Smart Home Arena)
Kansas Jayhawks +2 -- Over/Under: 148
The 5-seed Auburn Tigers and 4-seed Kansas Jayhawks will square off at Vivint Smart Home Arena this Saturday night in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 5-seed Auburn Tigers (27-9) had all they could handle from the 12-seed New Mexico State Aggies, however, the SEC Champions were able to survive after winning by a 78-77 margin on Thursday. Auburn had a comfortable 70-61 lead with just 4:30 left in regulation, however, they allowed the Aggies to hang around and sweated out a victory in the closing seconds after giving New Mexico State multiple chances to win the game. Auburn shot 45.6% from the field and forced 16 New Mexico State turnovers, however, was outrebounded by the Aggies by a 39-24 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Tigers was Jared Harper who had 17 points, 1 rebound, and 4 assists.
On the season, Auburn is averaging 79.5 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field. The Tigers are averaging 11.3 three-pointers per game on 37.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Auburn has been led by Bryce Brown (15.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg), Jared Harper (15.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.2 spg), Chuma Okeke (11.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.2 bpg), and Austin Wiley (7.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg).
Defensively, Auburn is holding their opponents to an average of 68.4 ppg on 43.5% shooting from the field. The Tigers have a rebound margin of -0.8 and a turnover margin of 5.5.
The 4-seed Kansas Jayhawks (26-9) had no problems advancing after easily defeating the 13-seed Northeastern Huskies, 87-53, on Thursday. Kansas dominated the CAA champions on both ends of the floor and had no trouble securing the victory after taking a 55-32 lead with 11:04 left in regulation. Kansas shot 55.7% from the field while holding Northeastern to just 28.1% shooting from the field and 21.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Jayhawks was Dedric Lawson who had a double-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 1 block, and a steal.
On the season, Kansas is averaging 75.7 ppg on 46.5% shooting from the field. The Jayhawks are averaging 7.3 three-pointers per game on 35.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Kansas has been led by Dedric Lawson (19.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.1 bpg), Devon Dotson (12.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.3 spg), Ochai Agbaji (8.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Quentin Grimes (8.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 apg).
Defensively, Kansas is allowing their opponents to average 69.6 ppg on 40.5% shooting from the field. The Jayhawks have a rebound margin of 3.0 and a turnover margin of -0.2.
The Tigers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. Big-12 opponents. The Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
Kansas overmatched Northeastern in their first round match-up, however, the Jayhawks are going to have a much tougher time on both ends of the court with an Auburn team that has won 9 straight games and has the talent to match-up with the Jayhawks. Auburn is going to have their hands full with Dedric Lawson, however, the Tigers should have some success in creating turnovers as they come into this game ranked 4th in steals & 2nd in turnover margin and I think Auburn will do enough offensively against the Jayhawks to cover this small spread. Good Luck!