Basketball Preview: Georgia vs. Auburn

ATLANTA - Josh Kendall takes a look at Georgia's game with Auburn in the SEC Tournament.

Eastern Division fifth seed Georgia (17-12, 8-8 SEC) vs. Western Division fourth seed Auburn (17-14, 7-9 SEC)

Time/place: 7:30 p.m./Georgia Dome

Broadcast: Lincoln Financial Sports, 940-AM

About Auburn: The Tigers' mental state is in question after they lost 83-79 to Ole Miss in the final game of the regular season. Auburn could have clinched a share of the Western Division title with a victory. "We have to regroup quickly, emotionally as much as anything, after a heartbreaking loss at Ole Miss where our team played well enough to win the game. Losing it right there at the end was hard for our coaches and hard for our players," head coach Jeff Lebo said. "Hopefully, we'll respond." … Five Tigers average double figures in scoring and four average between 4.8 and 6.7 rebounds per game. … Auburn is eighth in the SEC in scoring (73.4 ppg) and 11th in scoring defense (71.8 ppg allowed).

About Georgia: Not surprisingly, the Bulldogs didn't have any players on the Associated Press All-SEC first or second teams, but point guard Sundiata Gaines earned honorable mention status. The junior from New York finished the regular season first in the league in steals (2.18), sixth in assists (4.71), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.83) and 14th in rebounding (5.7). He led the Bulldogs in rebounding and was the fourth-leading scorer on the team (10.9). … Georgia finished the regular season fifth in the league in scoring (75.9 ppg), sixth in scoring defense (68.2 ppg allowed), third in scoring margin (plus-7.6), fourth in shooting percentage (46.8), second in 3-point shooting percentage (38.1), second in rebounding (plus-6), second in steals (8.76 per game) and last in assist-to-turnover ratio (.95).

Scouting report: It's seemingly a tradition at the SEC Tournament that the games scheduled for 9:45 p.m. on the first two days never start before 10 p.m. With the Bulldogs and Tigers playing the 7:30 game tonight, it could be 11. Georgia and Auburn tend to stay on the court a while when they play, mostly because of all the free throw shooting. In the three years Lebo and Dennis Felton have faced each other, the games have averaged 51 fouls each. When the Bulldogs beat Auburn 86-79 in February, the teams combined for 60 fouls. "Their physical play has been something that has been a factor for us," Lebo said. "You look at the times we've played Georgia, it's been nothing but a very physical fouling contest. It's always been a very physical and tough and nasty game that has been determined a lot of times on the free throw line." While the Tigers worry about the Georgia's bullying, Felton is concerned about Auburn's athleticism in the post. "They are one of several teams in the league that versus having true low post players who are easy to keep up with, they have a lot of athletic forwards who have range to their game and can score from 3-point range," Felton said. Forwards Josh Dollard (12.5 ppg) and Quan Prowell (12.1 ppg) are first and second for Auburn in scoring. Forward Korvotney Barber (11.3) is fourth.

Up next: Winner plays Florida, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Georgia Dome

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