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In this game, we have a very interesting SEC vs. Big Ten matchup in the Auburn Tigers against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Let’s break it down to see where the edge is.

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Auburn vs. Iowa Start Time, Where to Watch, Odds

  • Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023
  • Start Time: 6:50 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: TNT

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March Madness Bets for Thursday

Auburn vs. Iowa Best Bets

Auburn’s basketball program has had a resurrection under Coach Bruce Pearl over the last few seasons, but this is a down year by those standards. They come into this matchup as a No. 9 seed and were granted an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after failing to win the SEC regular season or postseason tournament.

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While Auburn may not have the top-heavy talent as years past, they are a very solid team from top to bottom. They are a very experienced group whose bread and butter is their effort and tenacity on defense. Auburn was one of the best defensive units in the SEC and one of the better defenses in the nation this season. They come into the tournament ranked 28th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 12th in defensive Effective FG%, ninth in block %, and fifth in defensive 3-point %. Auburn is extremely long and athletic at most positions on the defensive end. Their motor/tenacity as a defensive group leads to many live ball turnovers and run-outs for easy buckets.

Their opponent in this matchup, the Iowa Hawkeyes, come into this game not playing their best ball. Iowa is just 2-4 in their last six games, including losses to Ohio State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Northwestern. Three teams didn’t make the tournament, and a Northwestern team was hot and cold for most of the year. Iowa is a group known for their high-powered motion offense that frequently is in the top half of the country in offensive efficiency. This year is no different as they are currently ranked third in adjusted offensive efficiency and eighth in lowest turnover percentage, but they lack a true No. 1 scoring threat.

In years past, they have had the player of the year Luka Garza and all-American Keegan Murray to lead the offensive charge, but this year they have scored by committee. Their lack of a true scoring leader on offense has led to a lot of inconsistency against inferior opponents this season. I think that will hinder them against a well-above-average Auburn defense. Iowa’s defense is also very bad this year as they were ranked dead last in the big 10 in defensive effective FG%, defensive 2-point%, and defensive 3-point%. Iowa struggled mightily against the upper half of the Big Ten, and I think they will struggle to contain the speed and athleticism of Auburn. This line is also very telling, as Auburn is the higher seed and yet are the betting favorites.

March Madness Bet - Auburn vs. Iowa

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Article Author

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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