Alabama vs. #4 Auburn preview

Updated: Apr 7, 2020


The Alabama Crimson Tide (8-7, 1-2) will face off against bitter rival and undefeated 4th ranked Auburn Tigers (15-0, 3-0) tonight in a pivotal Coleman Coliseum matchup (8:00 CT, ESPN2). The Tide are fresh off a disappointing 76-67 loss to the 10th ranked Kentucky Wildcats in Rupp Arena, while the Tigers continued their undefeated season in Saturday’s 82-60 drubbing of the Georgia Bulldogs. Nate Oats’ squad will look to play spoiler to an exceptional run by the Tigers and potentially get their first victory in the series since March of 2018. A win tonight would undoubtedly turn heads around the country, and could positively launch Alabama headfirst into a continually grueling SEC gauntlet. Alabama comes into tonight’s matchup with an entirely new offensive system from last season, ranking 3rd (76.2) in adjusted tempo and 7th (83.2) in points per game. The Tigers, running a similar offensive system, rank 112th (70.3) in adjusted temp and 10th (82.1) in points per game.

What to watch for:

Look for both teams to push the tempo early and often. These are two fast-paced squads that love to run and kick-out for easy 3s in transition. Additionally, whoever controls the glass will likely control tonight’s game.

Keys to the game:

Alabama— If Alabama controls the tempo and plays at the pace they desire, it could be a long night for the Tigers defensively covering Alabama’s impending 3pt assault. With a home crowd and rivalry to boot, it certainly promises to be a tough matchup for the Tigers.

Player to watch: CG Jaden Shackelford.

Auburn— There's a reason Auburn is an undefeated Top 5 team. Ruthless efficiency. Auburn ranks 14th in the country in Adjusted Offense, 34th in adjusted defense, and 15th in overall adjusted efficiency margin. In addition to being efficient, Auburn is an extremely long and tough team defensively. C Austin Wiley, F Anfernee McLemore and star freshman G/F Isaac Okoro will be difficult matchups for the Tide on the opposite end of the floor.

Player to watch: PG Samir Doughty.

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