No. 13 Auburn (5-0) will face Northwestern (5-0) on CBSSN Wednesday, November 23. The matchup will decide the winner of the Cancun Challenge.
The Wildcats are an intriguing matchup for the Tigers, as they are the first Power Six team Auburn has faced so far this season.
They are led by Boo Buie, their starting point guard and leading scorer who is averaging almost 15 points and five assists a game. The Wildcats utilize him on over 27% of their offensive possessions and takes 27.7% of the shots put up while in the game.
This Northwestern team will definitely challenge Auburn on both sides of the court on the glass. Northwestern is third in the Big Ten in rebounds per game with 41.2. They are also second in their league in points per game allowed, holding opponents to an average of 53.4 ppg. Both teams are in the top 15 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Auburn's stifling defense will look to continue to dominate however as the Wildcats are second to last in the Big Ten in field goal percentage at only 41.7 percent from the field. To add insult to injury they give up an average of 11 turnovers per game.
The Tigers overcommit often on defense in hopes of creating a turnover or taking an offense out of rhythm. Although Bradley only scored 64 points in Auburn's most recent outing, it will be interesting to see if the lapses in transition carry over tonight. Northwestern may not shoot it well from the floor but they can hit from deep - the Wildcats are hitting threes at a 36.7% clip.
The key matchups to watch will be KD Johnson and Zep Jasper, both defensive weapons, against NWs leading scorer Buie. Another pivotal point of interest will be how Auburn can handle this Northwestern defense as a whole and if they can continue their hot shooting from Monday night.
Bench player to watch: Northwestern's Matthew Nicholson. He's 12th nationally in block percentage and is the tallest player for either team.
KenPom gives the Tigers a 70% chance to win, but only predicts a five-point victory (70-65).
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