BOZICH | 5 Reasons Kentucky will beat Auburn by 20, 30 or more
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WDRB) – The word around the SEC Tournament is Auburn fans (and players) only packed enough clothes for a one-day stay.
Crank up the washing machines. The Tigers, the 13-seed, are here for day four, booked for a semifinal game against unbeaten Kentucky at 1 p.m. (EDT) in Bridgestone Arena.
Five quick reasons Auburn's mini-spring break is about to end this afternoon.
1. Until Friday Auburn had not won three consecutive games since they finished a five-game winning streak by beating Division II Northern Alabama Jan. 3. The Tigers failed to win back-to-back games during the SEC season.
The last time Auburn won four straight games against conference opponents the Tigers were coached by former North Carolina guard Jeff Lebo. It happened on March 7, 2009.
2. Prior to the SEC Tournament, Auburn had lost its last six, as well as eight of its last nine, conference games. The average margin of those half-dozen defeats was 16.5 points, topped by a 35-point beatdown in Rupp Arena.
The Tigers lost that game 110-75 even though they made 11 of 19 three-point shots.
3. Ken Pomeroy's computer model puts Kentucky's win probability at 97 percent, projecting Kentucky 78, Auburn 57.
Jeff Sagarin's predictor numbers also like John Calipari's team – by 26. Sagarin ranks Auburn the 143rd best team in America.
Vegas split the difference – the Wildcats are currently favored by 23 ½.
4. The Tigers will be without their second-leading rebounder, Jordon Granger, on Saturday. Granger, a 6-foot-8 forward, was ejected during the Tigers' win over Louisiana State Friday after throwing a punch at Jordan Mickey.
After a video review by officials, he was assessed a flagrant-two foul. He did not the final 13:58 and must also miss the game on Saturday.
5. Kentucky has won 17 straight games over the Tigers. Auburn has not toppled the Wildcats since the 1999-2000 season. Auburn has not defeated UK in an SEC Tournament game since 1987.
Kentucky 91, Auburn 60.
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