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South Carolina Gamecocks vs. North Carolina Tarheels
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South Carolina Gamecocks vs. No. 14 Auburn Tigers Game info Who: No. 14 Auburn (13-4, 2-2 SEC) at South Carolina (9-8, 4-1) When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Where: Colonial Life Arena TV: SEC Network Radio: 107.5 The Game in Columbia area Series: Auburn leads 24-18 Last meeting: March 3, 2018 in Auburn — Auburn 79, South Carolina 70 Prediction: Auburn 81, South Carolina 73 STORYLINES 1. Huge opportunity Three days after suffering its first loss in nearly a month, South Carolina has a giant bounce-back opportunity. Auburn has lost its last two times at CLA, including last season as the nation’s No. 10 team. With USC students back in session, this should be the best crowd of the year. The Gamecocks have a shot at winning three straight home games over ranked SEC teams for the first time since 1996-97. They beat Auburn last February and No. 14 Mississippi State on Jan. 8. 2. Another backcourt challenge LSU’s Tremont Waters and Vanderbilt’s Saben Lee combined for 29 points and nine assists against the Gamecocks last week. Defending a couple of the league’s top point guards was a challenge for Frank Martin’s bunch. It’s not going to get easier Tuesday with Jared Harper and Bryce Brown in town. The Auburn backcourt is averaging a combined 32 points and seven assists per game. The duo went for 47 and nine last March against USC. “It’s really hard because they know each other,” Martin said Monday. “Harper knows where Brown’s at, Brown knows where Harper’s at. If you watch them, they’re passing to each other. Anytime Harper’s coming at you, he knows where Brown’s at. He doesn’t need to look. He just throws the ball and it’s there.” 3. McLemore’s return Less than a year after a career-threatening injury happened on CLA’s floor, Auburn’s Anfernee McLemore returns to Columbia. The 6-foot-7 forward has played in every game this season, averaging 6.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. “I’m really happy for him,” Martin said. “He’s starting to play well again. Early on in the year, you’re watching film and he’s ... I don’t want to say tentative, but wasn’t as good as he had been. Two of his last three games, he’s really played well again. “I’m really happy for him.” McLemore had 15 points and nine rebounds in a win over Georgia on Jan. 12. He had 13 and six last Wednesday at Texas A&M.