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No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 10 Miami preview, picks for second round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Auburn Tigers and Miami Hurricanes meet at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Walker Kessler #13 of the Auburn Tigers blocks shot by Demaree King #1 of the Jacksonville State Gamecocks during the second half in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 18, 2022 in Greenville, South Carolina. Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament is underway, and the No. 2 Auburn Tigers rolled to an 80-61 win over No. 15 Jacksonville State. No. 10 Miami upset the No. 7 USC Trojans 68-66 after a failed last-second shot missed the mark, and these teams will face off in the Second Round of the Men’s Basketball Championship.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. ET from the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. The game will air on truTV. Auburn is the 7.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 2 Auburn 27-5 (15-3 SEC): At-large

First round result: Won 80-61 over Jacksonville State
KenPom rating: 10 Overall, 24 Offense, 8 Defense
NET ranking: 11, (8-5 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Jabari Smith (17.1 ppg)
Key stat: The Tigers lead the nation in block percentage at 21%.

The Tigers put their physicality and height advantages on display against the Gamecocks. They outrebounded Jacksonville State, 50-32 and they had 10 blocked shots as a team. Walker Kessler was one block away from a triple-double with points, rebounds and blocks.

Jabari Smith showed why he is the Auburn player opposing defenses have the toughest time containing. He finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds while adding four assists to his double-double stat line.

The Tigers lead the nation in blocked shots. If Miami is going to stay in this one, they are not only going to have to win the rebound battle, they are going to have to ensure that they don’t get swatted every time they drive to the basket.

No. 10 Miami: 23-10 (14-6 ACC): At-large

First round result: Won 68-66 over USC
KenPom rating: 60 Overall, 17 Offense, 155 Defense
NET ranking: 62 (4-3 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Kameron McGusty (17.6 ppg)
Key stat: Big man Sam Waardenburg is shooting 42.9% from three-point range this season.

The Hurricanes were outrebounded and shot worse than the Trojans did. Miami hit only one of their 14 three-point attempts. So how did they win? They won the turnover battle and it wasn’t even close. Miami turned the ball over only three times compared to USC giving up the ball 18 times.

Sophomore guard Isaiah Wong led Miami with 22 points. He added four rebounds, four assists and a steal to his stat line before fouling out of the game.

Miami keeping control of the ball is nothing new for them this season. They have the sixth-lowest turnover percentage on offense among Division 1 teams.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Auburn -7.5
Point total: 143.5
Moneyline: Miami +250, Auburn -320

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Auburn -7.5
Point total pick: Under 143.5
Pick to Win: Auburn

The Hurricanes' edge in the first round came from their ability to force turnovers and their protection of the ball on offense. The Tigers are able to create turnovers against anyone because of the height of their front court. Kessler had 4.6 blocks per game in the regular season which led the NCAA. Auburn has the shooting to back up their defense, so I think they roll to another big win.

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