Auburn vs. Kentucky: Game Preview, Prediction

By Tim Letcher
Don McPeak, USA TODAY SPORTS
Don McPeak, USA TODAY SPORTS

The Kentucky Wildcats face the upstart Auburn Tigers in the SEC Tournament semifinals on Saturday in Nashville.

Kentucky beat the Florida Gators 64-49 in Friday’s first quarterfinal game to move to 32-0 on the season. That win allowed Kentucky to tie its own school and SEC record winning streak. The Wildcats’ single-season winning streak is already the best in school and conference history and one more win would break both of those marks.

The Wildcats got 13 points from Aaron Harrison and Karl-Anthony Towns on Friday. Andrew Harrison and Willie Cauley-Stein each had nine points for Kentucky. The Wildcats made 19-of-23 at the line compared to Florida’s three-of-five.

Aaron Harrison continues to lead Kentucky in scoring, averaging 11.3 points per game. Freshman Devin Booker is the only other Wildcat averaging in double figures, scoring 10.6 per contest.

When the bracket came out, few would have predicted that Kentucky would be facing Auburn. The Tigers have suddenly gotten hot for head coach Bruce Pearl, winning three games already in this event. Auburn pulled its second straight huge upset on Friday, topping the LSU Tigers 73-70 in overtime.

K.T. Harrell is determined to keep playing during his senior season. Harrell has scored 19, 25 and 29 points for the Tigers, who have assembled their first three-game winning streak since December. Harrell hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie Friday’s game against LSU before the Tigers won it in overtime.

These two teams met in February, and it wasn’t pretty. Kentucky played one of its most complete offensive games of the season that night, rolling past the Tigers 110-75 in Rupp Arena. Kentucky, who shot 64.7 percent from the floor in the game, had six players in double figures that night, led by Towns’ 19 points. Antoine Mason had a game-high 29 points for Auburn in the loss.

Auburn will be playing for the fourth time in four days, which is tough for a team that really plays only seven, or maybe eight players. Kentucky’s size and depth will allow the Wildcats to move to 33-0 and one step closer to a perfect season.

Final score prediction: Kentucky 81, Auburn 57

Tim Letcher is a Featured Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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