The Auburn Tigers face the No. 20 Baylor Bears in each team’s first game of the 2023-24 season. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET from Waco, Texas. The game will air on ESPN and will be available to stream on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.
Auburn had their ups and downs last season. They finished with a 9-seed in the NCAA Tournament, losing in the second round, and will return many of their starters from last year. Can this team figure things out this season that they failed fix to in 2022-23? Tre Donaldson, Johni Broome, and K.D. Johnson are among the top returning players for Bruce Pearl’s Tigers.
Baylor finished last season with a 3-seed, losing in the second round of the tournament as well. They don’t return many starters this season — in fact, of last year’s starting five, just Jalen Bridges returns. However, there is some exciting freshman talent coming to Waco, including 7-footer Yves Missi.
Auburn: KenPom 9, Adjusted Offense 9, Adjusted Defense 20
Baylor: KenPom 16, Adjusted Offense 17, Adjusted Defense 15
Spread: pick ‘em
Moneyline: Auburn -110, Baylor -110
This has the potential to be a very, very close game. These are two very different teams in terms of roster makeup — the Tigers return most of their starting lineup, while Baylor is essentially starting over. While this Auburn team never quite clicked last season, I think they have a good shot at winning this one on the road — not only have they had an entire season and offseason together, they have much more experience on a major stage than this young Bears team does. I’m going with Auburn.