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Auburn wanted Sunday’s showdown with Kentucky

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A ticket to the Final Four will get punched as Auburn and Kentucky are set to square off. Previously this season, Kentucky won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last met on Feb. 23, when the Wildcats shot 54.5 percent from the field while holding Auburn to just 32.8 percent on the way to a 27-point victory.

TEAM LEADERS: The Tigers are led by Jared Harper and Chuma Okeke. Harper has averaged 15.2 points and 5.9 assists while Okeke has recorded 12 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The Wildcats have been anchored by PJ Washington and Tyler Herro, who are scoring 14 and 14.2 per game, respectively.

JUMPING FOR JARED: Harper has connected on 37.5 percent of the 253 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 13 of 35 over his last five games. He’s also converted 82 percent of his foul shots this season.

PASSING FOR POINTS: The Tigers have recently gotten baskets via assists more often than the Wildcats. Kentucky has an assist on 30 of 73 field goals (41.1 percent) over its past three outings while Auburn has assists on 51 of 94 field goals (54.3 percent) during its past three games.

LONG-RANGE THREAT: The Auburn offense has made an average of 11.5 3-pointers per game, the third-most in Division I. Kentucky has only averaged 5.8 3-pointers per game (ranked 263rd, nationally).