(5) Auburn Tigers vs (1) Virginia Cavaliers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

Have a look at our most recent articles on Auburn Tigers and Virginia Cavaliers road to the final four.

How to Watch

What: Auburn Tigers vs Virginia Cavaliers

Where: US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN

When: Saturday, April 6th at 6:09 PM EST

How (TV): CBS

Auburn Tigers (Away)

Head Coach: Bruce Pearl {Record: 30-9 | Conference: 11-7, 4th in SEC}

2019 NCAA Tournament Results:

  • Won Midwest First Round (78-77) versus #12 New Mexico State
  • Won Midwest Second Round (89-75) versus #4 Kansas
  • Won Midwest Regional Semifinal (97-80) versus #1 North Carolina
  • Won Midwest Regional Final (77-71) versus #2 Kentucky

Projected Starting Five: (G) Bryce Brown – (G) Jared Harper – (G) Malik Dunbar – (F) Anfernee McLemore – (C) Horace Spencer

If you like offense, you’re going to enjoy watching the Auburn Tigers play in this match against the Virginia Cavaliers. Losing their most talented big was a massive blow for Bruce Pearl, but he has chosen to buy completely into their pacey offense as a result of that. Against Kentucky, the Tigers matched the Wildcats’ own impressive pace but were wholly more effective due to the sheer amount of attempts made (ORtg: 102.7).

Since 2014 the lowest ranked seed in the Final Four has come from the SEC three times, Auburn joins that class. The Tigers have progressed through the tournament with impressive focus. After a nail-biting win over New Mexico State, the Tigers reorganized and took down three of the most impressive teams in the country – Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky.

Auburn has the top-ranking offense in the tournament, scoring 85.3 points per game. They are also shooting threes at a tremendous rate of 30.3 per game, priming them to break Villanova’s three-point attempt record last year. But their defense is no slouch, having forced double-digit turnovers in every single one of their matches this year. They’ll need it all to come together, to take down Virginia and make it to the final.

Virginia Cavaliers (Home)

Head Coach: Tony Bennett {Record: 33-3 | Conference: 16-2, 1st in ACC}

2019 NCAA Tournament Results:

  • Won South First Round (71-56) versus #16 Gardner-Webb
  • Won South Second Round (63-51) versus #9 Oklahoma
  • Won South Regional Semifinal (53-49) versus #12 Oregon
  • Won South Regional Final (80-75) versus #3 Purdue

If speed is what the Tigers want to challenge the Cavaliers with, Tony Bennett’s side will surely oblige. The Tigers may be shooting at an all-time rate in the NCAA tournament, but their run and gun style of play will suit the Cavaliers who have struggled to shoot the ball in the half-court.

While the Cavaliers’ three stars haven’t been wholly efficient in their offensive sets, their individual talents have been on display. While they shot 42% from the field against Purdue in their last match, Virginia tipped the scales in their favor by getting to the free-throw line twenty times in the match and converting on seventeen of those.

The battle on the three-point line is what will determine this game. While Auburn is a talented team shooting the three-ball, the Cavaliers are fourth in the country in defending the arc. The Cavaliers allow opponents to shoot only 28.7% from three, if they can keep the Tigers in that range they’ll have a good chance of taking this game.

Auburn Tigers Roster Notes

G Bryce Brown – 5 Apr 2019 – Probable (Illness) – Brown is dealing with an illness but will likely be available for the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament against Virginia.

G Jared Harper – 5 Apr 2019 – Probable (Illness) – Harper is dealing with an illness but is expected to play against Virginia in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

F Chuma Okeke – 30 Mar 2019 – Out (Knee) – Okeke suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the NCAA tournament.

Virginia Cavaliers Roster Notes

C Francisco Caffaro – 28 Nov 2018 – Out (Knee) – Caffaro suffered a knee injury and is expected to use the 2018-19 season as a redshirt year.

Head-to-Head: Jared Harper (AUB) vs De’Andre Hunter (VIR)

An offensive battle is expected when the Tigers and the Cavaliers face off. Jared Harper has been consistent for the Cavaliers with his backcourt teammate Bryce Brown at his side. With his size disadvantage though, he will have to depend on his perimeter game even more against the Cavs. For Virginia, it may be De’Andre Hunter’s last chance to make an impression. While he has been passable, he’s not looked the elite talent he is touted to be. With the up and down style of the game, this may be Hunter’s reintroduction into the minds of the country.

Jared Harper

Guard | 5-11, 175lb (180cm, 79kg) | Pebblebrook High School | | Exp. Years

PPG | APG | RPG | SPG | BPG | TOV |. FG% |. 3P%

Auburn’s miniature point guard has come down with a minor illness, but he is still expected to play a large role against the Cavaliers. With talented forward Chuma Okeke out, Harper and Bryce Brown are the leaders of the offense. As they buy into their fast-paced offense, Harper will need to maintain his efficiency. 57% of his attempts are from range and he converts on 37% of them. He usually struggles at the rim against bigger opponents, so expect his shooting rate to increase from deep.

De’Andre Hunter

Guard | 6-7, 225lb (201cm, 102kg) | Friends’ Central School | Philadelphia, PA | Sophomore

14.9 PPG | 2.0 APG | 5.0 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 1.3 TOV | .518 FG% | .424 3P%

De’Andre Hunter needs to be a factor if the Cavaliers hope to keep up with the Auburn Tigers. He has contributed at least ten points in each of his last three games but has shot only 12-32 in those matches. The Tigers are a team that actually encourages the running game, so Hunter may benefit from the increased pace. He has had defenses collapse on him anytime he gets into the paint, so using his athleticism to challenge the Tigers’ break may work wonders.

Auburn Tigers at Virginia Cavaliers Predictions and Odds

Sportsbook Auburn Tigers Virginia Cavaliers Link
888Sport NJ +215 -295
BetStars NJ +225 -286