Auburn at South Carolina
|Date & Time||Friday March 15, 2019, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
Auburn Tigers -7.5 -- O/U: 145.5
The Auburn Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks meet in an SEC tournament quarterfinal matchup from the Bridgestone Arena on Friday afternoon.
The #5-seed Auburn Tigers come into this game looking to build some momentum after an 81-71 win over Missouri in their second round matchup. Bryce Brown led the Tigers with 17 points on 5 of 10 shooting from behind the arc while Chuma Okeke added 12 points and Malik Dunbar and Horace Spencer each had 11 points with Spencer adding team-highs of 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 blocks for the double-double. Jared Harper added 5 points with a team-high 5 assists as well in the winning effort for the Tigers. Heading into Thursday, Brown led Auburn in scoring with 15.7 points per game while Okeke leads the Tigers in rebounding with 6.8 rebounds per game and Harper leads Auburn in assists with 5.9 assists per game. As a team, Auburn is averaging 80.1 points per game on 44.9% shooting from the field, 37.5% from behind the arc and 70.5% from the foul line this season.
The South Carolina Gamecocks enter this year’s SEC tournament as the #4 seed, finishing the year at 16-15 overall, including 11-7 in conference play to finish tied for the 4th spot in the conference, winning out on a head-to-head tiebreaker with Auburn for the higher seed and the important double-bye. South Carolina had some tough times in the non-conference portion of their schedule, with losses to the likes of Providence, Wofford, Michigan, Clemson and Virginia as well as defeats to Wyoming and Stony Brook which definitely raised some eyebrows. South Carolina flipped a switch in SEC play, starting 4-0 and getting to 5-1 before splitting their last 12 games down the stretch to finish above .500 and barely slide into the top-4 spots. Chris Silva led the Gamecocks in scoring and rebounding with 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while A.J. Lawson came 2nd in scoring as well as leading in assists with 13.9 points and 3 assists per game. Hassani Gravett came 3rd in scoring with 11.6 points per game to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for South Carolina on the year. As a team, South Carolina is averaging 73 points per game on 42.2% shooting from the field, 36.5% from behind the arc and 68.2% from the foul line this season.
Auburn is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. South Carolina is 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 conference games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games overall. Auburn is 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
I can understand Auburn being favored here as it’s not often that you see a ranked team with a lower seed in the conference tournament against a team with a record barely above .500. However, South Carolina won the lone meeting by 3 points earlier this season, and while that win came at home, it’s hard to ignore Auburn’s struggles ATS in this matchup. I think Auburn will probably win this game, but I don’t think that South Carolina is just going to be a pushover so I’ll take a shot with South Carolina and the points in this one.