Auburn vs. Kentucky
Auburn has looked impressive in routing Kansas and North Carolina. Kentucky has grinded to wins over Wofford and Houston, impressive in their own right.
During the regular season, Kentucky swept Auburn. Kentucky won by 2 at Auburn and blew them out at Rupp. I’m not sure that means much at this point. If Auburn turns Kentucky over and shoots like they have been, they can certainly win this game. I think Kentucky is a more disciplined defensive team than Auburn has seen so far and that’s the difference.
The Pick: Kentucky 68 Auburn 65
Duke vs. Michigan State
There’s some question whether Nick Ward plays. If he doesn’t, that’s going to be hard to overcome. Tre Jones won’t shoot as well in this game and Cassius Winston will be a problem for him but if he protects the ball and facilitates, that will be enough.
Michigan State’s physicality will be an issue for Duke, though it won’t intimidate them. Duke just can’t afford foul trouble. Izzo belongs in jail.
The Pick: Duke 71 Michigan State 66