Saturday, March 14, 2009

SEC Tournament: Tennessee-Auburn Prediction

1 East - Tennessee Volunteers vs 2 West - Auburn Tigers
Saturday 3:30 PM
TV: Raycom

My SEC Tournament winning streak had to come an end sometimes and Auburn did that with their win over Florida. But I will take 7-1 and keep on truckin. The Vols are in the Tournament but Auburn could use one more quality win to solidify their position though I think they should be in based on their current resume.

Tennessee and Auburn met just once this season with the Tigers prevailing 78-77 in Auburn. That game sparked an Auburn streak winning streak of eight of their last nine in the regular season. On February 7th, both teams shot the ball very well hitting over 53 percent for each team. Where the Tigers won this game is on the glass where they out rebounded Bruce Pearl's club 34 to 21 including 14 to 4 on the offensive glass. That should be surprising considering Auburn's tallest player is only 6'7".

For Tennessee to move on to the SEC finals, they have to hit some shots early from the perimeter. Auburn is the best defensive team in the conference in terms of defensive shooting percentage. For Auburn, they have to bring that same defensive intensity that has carried them in the second half of the season. It will be tough for the Tigers due to their late ending on Friday and earlier start on Saturday. I like Tennessee to advance because of their renewed defensive intensity shown down the stretch of the regular season.

Pick: Tennessee

Season: 35-28 SU through 3/13

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