New Mexico State at Auburn
|Date & Time||Thursday March 21, 2019, 1:30 PM (EDT)|
Vivint Smart Home Arena
Salt Lake City, UT
Auburn Tigers -5.5 -- Over/Under: 146
The 12-Seed New Mexico State Aggies and 5-seed Auburn Tigers will square off at Vivint Smart Home Arena this Thursday afternoon in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 12-Seed New Mexico State Aggies finished their regular season with an impressive overall record of 30-4 (15-1 WAC) and will be playing in their 7th NCAA Tournament over the last 8 seasons. New Mexico State showed the country that they were once again the team to beat in the WAC after picking up some solid wins agianst North Dakota State & New Mexico and almost upset Kansas before losing to the Jayhawks by just a 63-60 margin. New Mexico State earned the top-seed in the WAC Championship and had no trouble securing the automatic bid after defeating the Grand Canyon Antelopes by an 89-57 margin in the Finals.
On the season, New Mexico State is averaging 78.1 ppg on 45.9% shooting from the field. The Aggies are averaging 9.4 three-pointers per game on 33.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, New Mexico State has been led by Terrell Brown (11.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.3 apg), Eli Chuha (9.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.6 apg), A.J. Harris (9.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.0 spg), and Ivan Aurrecoechea (9.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg).
Defensively, New Mexico State is holding their opponents to an average of 64.1 ppg on 45.9% shooting from the field. The Aggies have a rebound margin of 9.6 and a turnover margin of 1.5.
The 5-seed Auburn Tigers finished their regular season with a 26-9 overall record and come into the NCAA Tournament with a bunch of momentum as the Tigers after winning the SEC Championship with a commanding 84-64 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers. Auburn started the season with an impressive 9-1 record and even cracked the Top-10 in the standings, and although they struggled during the middle of their tough SEC schedule, the Tigers finished strong as they won their last 5 regular season games and currently are riding an 8-game winning streak.
On the season, Auburn is averaging 79.6 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field. The Tigers are averaging 11.3 three-pointers per game on 37.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Auburn has been led by Bryce Brown (15.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg), Jared Harper (15.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.2 spg), Chuma Okeke (11.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.7 spg, 1.2 bpg), and Samir Doughty (7.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.5 spg).
Defensively, Auburn is holding their opponents to an average of 68.1 ppg on 43.3% shooting from the field. The Tigers have a rebound margin of -0.4 and a turnover margin of 5.5.
The Aggies are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games, however, just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games. The Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
New Mexico State is a solid team on both ends of the court as they come into this game ranked 54th in scoring offense & 26th in scoring defense and have great depth as the Aggies have a deep bench and often have fresh legs on the court. Auburn has top-10 talent and also have been solid on both ends of the court as they rank 35th in scoring offense & 85th in scoring defense and come into the Big Dance with as much momentum as any team in College Basketball. I think the Aggies are going to keep this game close early, however, it’s hard to trust a New Mexico State team as their numbers/stats are generally inflated due to playing in the WAC. Auburn has the depth to match the Aggies and after watching the Tigers dominate over the past month, I think the Tigers do enough to cover a spread that has been dropped throughout the week. Good Luck!