ROUNDBALL DAILY

NCAA Tournament Predictions: Auburn vs. Charleston

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March Madness is here, and that means RoundballDaily.com is ready to help you make your bracket love you back.

Who’s going to win the matchup between Auburn and Charleston? Check out our complete breakdown and prediction below.

4. Auburn (25-7, 13-5/SEC)

Auburn had its best season since 1999, when star forward Chris Porter (there’s a name from the past) led the Tigers to a 29-4 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This group was predicted by some to finish at the bottom of the SEC, but instead the Tigers won 16 of its first 17 games and walked away with the SEC regular season title.

This group of Tigers was led by 6-5 sophomore Mustapha Heron, who’s a rugged 2-guard with an NBA body. Heron put up 16.6 points and 5.5 boards per game. 6-3 junior Bryce Brown also averaged 16.2 ppg, and diminutive guard Jared Harper can fill it up (13.7 ppg) and distribute (5.7 apg) as well.

13. Charleston (26-7, 14-4/CAA)

Grant Riller

Grant Riller leads the Cougars in scoring at (Getty Images Embed)

The Cougars are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since ’99, two years after they stunned Maryland in a memorable upset. This team has what it takes to reach the Round of 32 again, with a trio of top scorers who average over 17 points per game.

6-3 sophomore Grant Riller (18.7 ppg) has a Jayson Tatum-like game (watch him play and you’ll see what we mean). He can shoot the 3 (40%), and takes it to the rack with a Tatum-like smoothness and array of moves.

6-4 senior Joe Chealey can do it all (18.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.6 apg) and 6-7 junior Jarrell Brantley (17 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is a matchup problem, as he can hang with bigs inside, but has guard-like quickness, wing moves, and an ability to shoot the 3.

Charleston enters the Dance winners of 14 of its last 15 games.

PREDICTION: Charleston. If you’re looking for a slightly out-of-the-box upset pick, this is one that could pay off. Auburn hasn’t been to the Dance since 2003, and often times teams with high seeds and not much tourney experience end up flaming out. This Charleston group has been climbing in the CAA for a few years, and finally broke through this season. There’s a lot of experience on this squad, and Auburn is young. We’re calling for the upset.

Who you got?

Other Predictions: 

7. Rhode Island vs. 10. Oklahoma

5. Ohio State vs. 12. South Dakota State

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