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How and what to watch for Auburn vs. Houston in second round of 2023 NCAA Tournament

We break down everything you need to know for Saturday’s second round March Madness matchup between Auburn and Houston.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-Auburn vs Iowa Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Another second-round matchup in the 2023 NCAA Tournament has been set for Saturday, March 18 as the No. 9 Auburn Tigers will battle the No. 1 Houston Cougars. This West Region matchup will take place at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, AL, at 7:10 p.m. ET on TBS.

The odds below are from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Game date: Saturday, March 18
Game time: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV channel: TBS
Location: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, AL

Spread: Houston -8
Over/Under: 133.5
Moneyline: Houston -380, Auburn +310

No. 9 Auburn (20-12, 10-8 SEC)

First Round: Defeated No. 8 Iowa 83-75
KenPom rating: 29 Overall, 48 Offense, 29 Defense
Leading scorer: Johni Broome
Key stat of tournament: 11-0 in Round of 64 since 1985

Auburn held off Iowa in a closely-seeded matchup by taking advantage of the Hawkeyes’ lack of defense. The Tigers excelled at the free throw line toward the end of the game, and took the lead around the halfway mark of the first half and never lost it. Auburn was led by Johni Broome with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

No. 1 Houston (32-3, 17-1 AAC)

First Round: Defeated No. 16 Northern Kentucky 63-52
KenPom rating: 1 Overall, 11 Offense, 4 Defense
Leading scorer: Marcus Sasser
Key stat of tournament: Houston leads the nation in block percentage at 16.1%

Houston and Northern Kentucky were tied midway through the second half before the Cougars hit the gas down the stretch and put the game to bed. The story of this matchup was star guard Marcus Sasser re-aggravating his groin injury and sitting out for the entirety of the second half. His status for the second round will be up in the air heading into Saturday.