Yale vs. Auburn March Madness Preview and Prediction

In the No. 13 vs. No. 4 matchup in the NCAA Tournament East Region, the Yale Bulldogs face the Auburn Tigers in first-round action.

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How to Watch Yale vs. Auburn

When: 4:15 pm ET on Friday, March 22nd

Where: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Washington

Watch: TNT

Odds for Yale vs. Auburn

(odds current at time of publish)

Spread: Auburn -12.5

Total: 138.5

DraftKings Betting Splits | Live College Basketball Odds | Yale vs. Auburn Matchup

East Region No. 13 Yale Bulldogs

Yale made it to the tournament by beating Brown on a buzzer beater in the Ivy league championship game. Now the Bulldogs are going to be a difficult matchup in the dance. Yale is a top-100 team in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, according to Bart Torvik. The Bulldogs play at an extremely slow pace and value every possession, but they usually end up with good shots. They’re rarely forcing anything. Look for them to play through big man Danny Wolf quite a bit — he’s a nightly double-double threat — but the Bulldogs also have four other high-quality players. Yale is also very good about defending the 3-point line, so this team is generally good at making every game close.

East Region No. 4 Auburn Tigers

Auburn is one of the most underrated teams in the country. The Tigers don’t shoot the 3-ball all that well, and they don’t take as many of them as you’d like. But Bruce Pearl’s team is top 50 in the country in EFG% and that’s enough considering how good they are defensively. Auburn is arguably the best team in the country when it comes to 2PT defense, and the team works hard to defend the perimeter. That gives the Tigers a good shot at winning every night, and they can then lean on their superb frontcourt of Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams to bring things home. Broome is one of the best players in all of college basketball, as he serves as an offensive hub with very few weaknesses in his game. He’s also tremendous on the defensive end.

Yale vs. Auburn Preview & Prediction

As the pundits were pounding on the table about bubble teams and mid-major upset candidates, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Auburn was under-seeded. Per Bart Torvik, this is a top-10 team in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency and a top-five team overall. The SEC Tournament champs did struggle when stepping up in class, as they went 1-5 in Quadrant 1-A games and 3-7 in Quadrant 1 games overall.

Apparently, they didn’t have the results to be seeded higher, but four of those seven losses were by six or fewer points and they had zero close wins. The Tigers enter the NCAA Tournament as one of the nation’s best in eFG%, 3P% defense, and 2P% defense, but they’re also a very good shooting team. They plowed through the SEC Tournament with wins over South Carolina (by 31!), Mississippi State, and Florida (by 19!) – with the last two as Quadrant 1 wins.

Yale, meanwhile, squeaked through the four-team Ivy League Tournament with a buzzer-beater win over Brown after building more than a 20-point deficit. The Bulldogs, like the other top teams in the Ivy, run some really smooth offensive sets, but are mostly undersized and outgunned in these games against major-conference opponents.

The Bulldogs have lost in the first round in each of their last two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a loss in the 14/3 game to Purdue by 22 two years ago.

UConn down the line would be a tough Sweet 16 matchup for Auburn, but the Tigers have the stats, length, and efficiency metrics to be very dangerous.

Estimated Score: Auburn 78, Yale 64

For expert predictions, go to our college basketball best bets page.