Three pathways for Florida Basketball to defeat Auburn in the SEC Championship

Florida won the previous meeting 81-65

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Basketball has navigated their side of the bracket in the SEC Tournament and for the first time since 2014 will be playing in the championship game. Awaiting the Gators will be the Auburn Tigers, who the Gators defeated earlier this season 81-65.

But if Florida is going to hoist the trophy in Nashville, there are three areas they need to take advantage of.

Florida Basketball: Win The Whole Thing

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When Florida knocked off Auburn back on February 10, they took advantage of the rebounding weakness of the Tigers. Florida collected 16 offensive rebounds of 40 missed shots, giving Auburn a defensive rebounding rate of 60%.

For context, Auburn's season long defensive rebounding rate is 71% and that ranks 268th in the country. In their last three games, Auburn is rebounding at a rate of just 65%.

From Downtown

One of the other factors that led Florida to an easy victory last month was their ability to avoid the long arms of Auburn's defense and the fact they could make shots from three.

Auburn leads the country in block percentage, blocking 10.6% of opponent shots. That number has ticked up to 12.4% in their last three games and in their win over Mississippi State they blocked 14.3% of Bulldog shots.

But back in February, Auburn only blocked two shots as Florida hoisted 21 three point attempts, making seven. Both of those are near Florida's season average.

To The Free Throw Line

Fatigue will play a factor as Florida is playing their fourth game in as many days and Auburn is playing their third. Tired legs tend to lead to sloppy fundamentals and can lead to some extra fouls as a result of not being in proper position.

The problem for Auburn is that even when they are fresh, they tend to commit a ton of fouls. The Tigers commit a foul on 26.4% of possessions, 313th in the country. Florida is 7th in the country at free throws attempted per game at 25.2, and back in February were sent to the line 26 times.

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