Auburn early 7.5 point favorite over Miami basketball

Mar 18, 2022; Greenville, SC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2022; Greenville, SC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

After surviving late against USC, the Miami basketball team is an early 7.5 point underdog against Auburn in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday per WynnBet. Miami defeated USC on two Charlie Moore free throws with seven seconds remaining. Auburn won its first-round game 81-62 over Jacksonville State.

Auburn and Miami have split their two meetings. Miami won 87-73 in 1966. Auburn won 60-58 in the first round of the 2011 NIT. The Tigers are 28-6 this season and won the SEC with a 15-3 record. Auburn avenged a quarterfinal loss in the SEC Tournament last week with the win over Jacksonville State on Friday.

Auburn is led by potential 2022 NBA top overall draft pick Jabari Smith. Smith leads the Tigers averaging 17.1 points per game, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists. At 6’10 220 pounds, Smith is athletic and a matchup problem for Miami. At center, Auburn starts 7’1 Walker Kessler who averages 11.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG and 4.5 blocks.

Kessler had one point, two rebounds and a block in five minutes against the Miami basketball team in 2021 playing for North Carolina before transferring to Auburn in the 2021 offseason. Kessler nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks against Jacksonville State. Smith had 20, 14 and four assists.

Isaiah Wong

led Miami with 22 points and had four rebounds in just 24 minutes because of foul trouble. Moore scored 16 and had three rebounds, four assists and four steals in addition to the game-winning free throws.

Kameron McGusty

with 12 was the only other Miami player in double figures against USC.

The game should be played at a faster pace. Auburn is 22nd in the country averaging 78.7 PPG. Miami is 74th nationally averaging 74.8 PPG. Games in the NCAA Tournament have a tendency to be played tighter and lower scoring. The point total for Sunday is set at 145 points. That number is likely to be under the total.

Miami is more efficient than Auburn offensively. The Tigers are far more efficient than the Hurricanes defensively. If the game is close Miami will be prepared. With the win over USCs, Miami improved to 12-7 this season in games decided by one or two possessions. Auburn is 13th nationally averaging 11 more points than opponents.

Kessler and Smith provide Auburn a size advantage similar to what the USC frontline had over Miami. The Auburn guard, Wendell Green and K.D. Johnson are 5’11 and 6’1. The Miami basketball team needs to force turnovers again. Auburn is 236th with 12.1 turnovers per game. The Tigers are 38th forcing 15.0 turnovers per game.

Next. Miami back half of odds winning NCAA Tournament. dark

Miami is 11th forcing 4.2 more turnovers per game than they commit. The Hurricanes are using one of the most basic formulas to win this season, take care of the ball and force turnovers. Auburn is another step up in competition on Sunday. After winning at Duke in January, Miami believes it can play with anyone.