Last Updated: 2017-03-06
The No. 14-ranked Kentucky Wildcats (13-3), the Southeastern’s top shooting team, will challenge the Auburn Tigers (7-8) at Auburn Arena. The game starts at 4:00 pm ET on Saturday, Jan. 16 and can be seen on ESP and ES3.
The Tigers are hoping to rebound after their 75-57 loss to Vanderbilt on Tuesday. Kareem Canty finished with 16 points to lead the team. The Wildcats, meanwhile, are coming off an 80-74 win over Mississippi State on Tuesday. Tyler Ulis stood out for Kentucky, posting 21 points, five assists, and three rebounds.
Ulis has upped his play for the Wildcats, averaging 18.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.8 three-pointers over the past five games.
It has been an up-and-down season for Kentucky so far, with three losses already, and they are at risk of falling outside of the top 15. The Wildcats lost a ton to the draft last season and it has been a big reason why they have struggled in some of their games. After an ugly loss to Ben Simmons and LSU, the Wildcats have bounced back with two nice wins over Alabama and Mississippi State.
Auburn doesn’t have the athletes to upset Kentucky, but the Tigers can hang within the 12-point spread. Auburn has dropped three straight and five of the last six. Their only win in that span was over a Rick Barnes-coached Tennessee team and Barnes’s teams have a knack for losing games they shouldn’t. The last three losses for Auburn have all been by double digits, so Kentucky can blow this one open if they want to.
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Free Pick: Kentucky
Kentucky sits at 3-1 SU against the conference, while Auburn is 1-3 SU.
The Kentucky Wildcats have a defensive rating of 97.0 (ranked 74th), while the Auburn Tigers have an offensive rating of 103.8 (ranked 216th).
The Auburn Tigers average 73.3 possessions per game and 1.038 points per possession, while the Kentucky Wildcats earn fewer possessions (68.8) but more points per possession (1.130).
The Auburn Tigers average an effective field goal percentage of 51.4% this season. The Kentucky Wildcats have a losing record of 1-2 when opponents have an eFG% of 51.4% or greater.
The Auburn Tigers average 25.0 three point attempts per game and are 6-8 when attempting at least 20 in a game. The Kentucky Wildcats average 17.0 attempts and have a solid record (5-2) when attempting 20 or more.
Kentucky, the 68th-ranked team in rebounding, registers an average of 39.1 rebounds per game. Auburn does worse, ranked 211th with 36.1.
The Auburn Tigers make an average of 6.1 steals per game. When the Kentucky Wildcats allow 6 or more steals, they are a winning 5-2.
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