Auburn Tigers vs. Virginia Cavaliers – CBB March Madness Final Four Preview
Saturday 4/6 6:09 PM (ET),
U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, MN)
Auburn makes their first final four appearance in school history, and waiting in their path will be none other than the top seeded Virginia Cavaliers.
Auburn’s fairy tale month of March has catapulted them into prime contention to compete for a national title. The 5th seeded Tigers have knocked off Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky, three of college basketball’s prominent programs for the right to take part in Saturday’s final four contest.
Auburn is undefeated since late February, going 12-0 SU and 8-4 ATS over their last 12 games. A prime reason for their success is their lethal shooting from outside the arc. Auburn averages 79.6 ppg on the season, nearly 44% of which comes from three pointers. In fact, they’ve hit at least 12 three point shots in nine of their last 11 games. The Tigers will have to continue to knock down daggers from long range to keep pace with Virginia.
Some might say the Cavaliers struggled defending the arc during the Elite Eight, others might say that Purdue’s Carsen Edwards was playing otherworldly. Edwards hit an astonishing ten three-pointers for his Boilermakers. While Purdue may have found a slight knick in Virginia’s armour, it wasn’t enough to come away victorious. Not surprising when you consider Virginia is 13-1 SU over their last 14 contests. The Cavaliers have coasted through the majority of the tournament, thanks in large part to their suffocating defense. Virginia surrenders 55.4 ppg on the season, the best mark in the nation.
Auburn’s best chance of advancing to the Championship is that they get hot from three, something you can’t rely on when versing a stout defensive unit like Virginia’s.
Score prediction: Virginia wins 69-66
Auburn may not hit enough threes to win on Saturday, but they’ve shown enough consistency from downtown throughout the season that they will undoubtedly stay competitive till the final buzzer. While Virginia opened up the tournament blowing teams out, they’ve won their past two contests by a combined average of just 4.5 points, neither of which by more than five points.
Auburn has been an OVER machine, hitting the mark in all but two of their past nine games. Only one of those games went under the set O/U for Saturday’s contest. The Tigers aren’t the only ones who excel from beyond the arc. Virginia hits nearly 40% of their shots from three. Look for the two teams to exchange baskets from tipoff to end of regulation.
Head to Head
Auburn holds a 2-1 record over Virginia in their last three matchups. Yet, the most recent matchup took place all the way back in 2009, where the Tigers escaped with a one-point victory over the Cavaliers.
Auburn is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games.
Auburn is 12-0 SU in their last 12 games.
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Auburn’s last 9 games.
Virginia is 9-5 ATS in their last 14 games.
Virginia has gone 4-4 in terms of 0/U in their last 8 games.
Virginia is 33-3 SU over their last 36 games.