Herbert Jones must find his groove to upset unbeaten Tigers

Where to watch: No. 4 (15-0, 3-0 SEC – #15 KenPom rating) at (8-7, 1-2 – #53) – Today 8 p.m. Central, ,

Who to watch: . has a bit of a Goldilocks dilemma when it comes to Jones’ offensive involvement. Not enough shots means depriving the Crimson of one of their few interior scoring threats. Too many shots means overreliance on an inefficient player, punctuated by a 20-shot effort in the loss at . (Strange fact: in Jones’ four highest-scoring games of the season, the Tide is 1-3.) What would look like just ? Probably something like his previous two with the Tigers in , where he shot 5-for-9 and 5-for-8 from the floor respectively and scored 11 points both times. Bama also needs him to rebound well and add a smattering of assists while avoiding fouls and turnovers, something that’s been a problem for him in this series.

What to watch for: Which can get its emotions harnessed quicker? is leaning hard into the hype surrounding this game and it makes a certain degree of sense. Alabama has probably gotten all it can wring out of close losses against a hard schedule, and this is probably the last best chance at a season-defining win that can restart a potential run. But the Tide was also emotional at Kentucky and that mostly translated into dented rims as Bama was a ghastly 4-for-21 behind the arc. Meanwhile Auburn has won 27 of its last 28 games dating back to last year’s run. But a closer look at this season’s Tigers show that their schedule to date ranks outside the top 150, they’ve only had two true road games and they’ve been in five games decided by two possessions or less – including nail biters against South Alabama, and Vanderbilt. If Bama can get a solid early run, AU could find itself in the unfamiliar position of battling uphill against moment.

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