Rocky times for Tennessee against Auburn?
Buckets could be in short supply when Auburn and Tennessee do battle this evening in the SEC tournament’s opening round.
The Volunteers represent three-point favorites at present, according to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI.com. Their margin for error truly became razor-thin following Rick Barnes’ disconcerting announcement last Friday.
On that afternoon, Tennessee’s head coach confirmed guard Kevin Punter Jr.’s season-ending surgery to repair the stress fracture in his right foot. The senior stalwart had averaged 22.2 points per game (11th among all Division I players) and singlehandedly guided a youthful squad through countless rough patches.
Now, the Vols find themselves searching for answers at the worst possible juncture. Punter’s absence coincided with four straight blowouts to conclude the regular season.
One can bet that the man at the helm of the Tigers took note. Bruce Pearl boasts nary a standout in his regular rotation, but Tyler Harris scores the basketball in an efficient manner and Cinmeon Bowers frequently performs yeoman’s work on the glass.
Auburn may not have overwhelmed its foes in the campaign’s second half. It did, however, challenge Alabama and render No. 20 Texas A&M uncomfortable in recent weeks – in addition to besting Georgia and toppling Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena. Never underestimate Pearl’s ability to prepare a group for postseason action, either, especially with an exceedingly vulnerable outfit on the other side.
WEDNESDAY NCAA FREE PICK: AUBURN +3.5