The Auburn Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the national men’s college basketball polls for the first time in history. They finally topped the Gonzaga Bulldogs by beating the Kentucky Wildcats and getting the high-end win poll voters needed to see.
Now they are wearing that No. 1 ranking, and the test becomes how well Auburn can carry that label and not get caught up in distractions or the runaway publicity the program is receiving.
Auburn faces Oklahoma this Saturday in the Big 12-SEC Challenge, a final chance to get a quality nonconference win before the NCAA Tournament in March. The Tigers are 10-point favorites and the total is set at 136.
Let’s take a closer look at the NCAAB odds and see what’s the best option to go with for your college basketball picks.
- Game: Oklahoma (13-7) at Auburn (19-1)
- Location: Auburn Arena – Auburn, AL
- Day/Time: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
Oklahoma Sooners at Auburn Tigers
Oklahoma Tries To Build On Streak-Busting, Bounce-Back Win
The Oklahoma Sooners had lost four straight games. It’s true that the four teams were all good ones; OU did not suffer a single bad loss in that sequence (against a team it obviously should beat).
Nevertheless, four straight losses to Texas, TCU, Kansas, and Baylor dragged down Oklahoma’s confidence and overall profile. The Sooners badly needed to restore order.
They did so with a 72-62 win at West Virginia on Wednesday night. Oklahoma played elite defense and never allowed West Virginia to find a comfort zone at the offensive end of the court.
With that win over West Virginia, Oklahoma stabilized its season and gained a solid road victory.
Playing on the road in Auburn this Saturday will be a very tough assignment for Oklahoma due to Auburn’s quality, but the Sooners are not going to be intimidated by a daunting road environment. Winning at West Virginia is not an easy thing to do.
The Sooners have fresh reason to trust themselves and what they are doing under first-year head coach Porter Moser.
Auburn Has Made Some History And Will Try To Make More
The Auburn Tigers are No. 1 in the rankings, which is an entirely new thing for this program. Auburn got a No. 1 seed in the 1999 NCAA Tournament, but those Tigers never got No. 1 during the season.
Duke was the No. 1 team during that regular season. This Auburn team has lost only once in 20 games, but after being ranked No. 1, Auburn very nearly lost at Missouri against a bad opponent.
The Tigers shot the ball as poorly as they have all season, but their defense was just barely enough to hold off Mizzou by a 55-54 score.
Auburn can’t worry about what other people think of the Tigers, now that they are No. 1. Auburn has to block out the chatter and the speculation and focus more on doing what it does best.
Will Auburn play with freedom or begin to lose its edge?
This is a test of Auburn’s ability to remain relaxed yet dedicated to the task. The Tigers looked like an uncertain and burdened team against Missouri, a group which felt like it had something to lose.
Auburn needs to play with the freedom of a team which thinks it has a lot to gain. That is the bottom line now that AU is ranked No. 1 and is everyone’s target when it takes the court.
Go with Auburn and under in the sportsbook if you bet online.