Arizona vs. Auburn NCAA Tournament First Four: How to watch, odds and predictions for March Madness

Arizona Women's Basketball earned the very last play-in spot for the 2024 NCAA Tournament, and they'll be playing Auburn in the First Four showdown to earn the No. 11 seed. The winner of the game gets to remain in Storrs, Connecticut, to take on No. 6 Syracuse in the Round of 64.

Oct 10, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Helena Pueyo (13) and Esmery Martinez (12)
Oct 10, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Helena Pueyo (13) and Esmery Martinez (12) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Women's Basketball (17-15, 8-10 in Pac-12) has a chance to return to the NCAA Tournament when the Wildcats will play against Auburn (20-11, 8-8 in SEC) for the No. 11 seed in the Portland 3 Region. The winner of the game will move onto the Round of 64 and into what many consider the "real" field to play against No. 6 seed Syracuse.

Arizona: Arizona was the last team selected to be a part of the Field of 68 despite the early season indicating that this wasn't a tournament-caliber team. It seems like the departures of Kailyn Gilbert and Maya Nnaji haven't affected the 'Cats negatively, and it actually seems to be quite the opposite. Arizona head coach Adia Barnes leaned on ascendant freshman Jada Williams and seasoned veterans Helena Pueyo and Esmery Martinez to lead a late-season push.

Auburn: The Tigers finished the regular season 19-10 (7-7 in SEC) and earned the No. 7 seed in the SEC Tournament. Auburn enters the matchup against Arizona having won four of its last five, with the sole loss being the 30-point throttling taken at the hands of LSU in the SEC tournament. However, the wins were over Florida, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and Arkansas — none of whom are in the NCAA Tournament or even the WNIT.

How to watch Arizona vs. Auburn in the NCAA Tournament First Four

  • Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
  • Time: 4:00 p.m. MST
  • Venue: Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, Storrs, CT

Arizona vs. Auburn NCAA Tournament First Four odds

Line: Arizona -1.5
O/U: 127.5

DraftKings odds have Arizona as a narrow 1.5-point favorite to win over Auburn. Arizona hasn't seen much success in the record department as of late — having lost three of the last five — but the 'Cats are playing with hustle. While Arizona is coming off a 3-point conference tournament loss to a National Title contender, Auburn's loss against a similarly competitive National Title contender was a 30-point thrashing. Thus, Arizona somehow feels like a much safer bet than the spread indicates.

Arizona vs. Auburn NCAA Tournament First Four prediction

Arizona is entering this tournament with some extremely high-quality losses under its belt. In two games against USC — the No. 1 seed in the same Portland 3 Region — Arizona lost by a combined 5 points. The 'Cats lost by 2 points in the penultimate Pac-12 regular-season game in double overtime, and the tournament loss was by a heartbreaking 3 points. Arizona can hang with the best of them, and bodes as an intimidating matchup for Auburn.

Auburn has a not-so-secret weapon they'll be excited to use on Arizona, though, and her name is Honesty Scott-Grayson. She's the third-leading scorer in the SEC with 17.4 points per game and she shoots over 40% from the field. However, she averages less than 30 minutes per game, so Arizona's sweltering defense led by Pueyo should be able to capitalize on a team that doesn't produce at the same clip when their star is off the court.

Prediction: Arizona wins 67-61

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