Ole Miss currently stands one win away from what used to be a valuable 20th win in the regular season.
An old rule of thumb was that 20 wins insured a hard look at the NCAA tournament, but this was in the days of 28 game seasons. With teams playing more regular season games and conferences playing deep tournaments, more wins are required.
The Rebels are no exception to this new standard with no quality wins in conference play. There's just not much for Ole Miss to hang its collective hat on.
LSU would not give much of an RPI boost to the Rebel's resume, but a loss to the Bayou Bengals would absolutely dissolve any chances of an at-large bid for Ole Miss.
LSU has had a very dismal basketball season. One win in conference play, sub-.500 record, and not a single win at a venue not named after Pete Maravich.
Tasmin Mitchell is by far the best player on the team, and we won't bottle him up in any way tonight. Storm Warren and Bo Spencer should be a challenge as well on the offensive end. Spencer has the ability to shoot from just about anywhere just like Mitchell. I will be interested to see if Kennedy matches Eniel Polynice against Mitchell or Spencer considering he's one of our best defenders. In my opinion, whoever he is guarding will be the match-up to watch closely.
Neither team has a great presence down low, so I think the game will come down to guard play and turnovers. The Rebels should be able to dominate this facet of the game by exploiting a lack of depth and experience for LSU and driving to the basket constantly.
The last game against LSU in Baton Rouge saw the emergence of Terrance Henry, who is a Nutria State native. Henry dropped 14 points on the Tigers in 28 minutes of play, hitting 3 of 3 from behind the arc. He also had the help of 14 points from Chris Warren and Polynice.
I'd love to see Henry get 28 minutes tonight, because it would be one of two things:
1.) He's absolutely ballin' out of his mind and scoring a ton, though Warren and Terrico White are not.
2.) We're ahead by so much, Kennedy decides to let other players get more time on the court.
Don't forget to wear your Deaundre Cranston jerseys tonight to honor his senior season and final game at the Tad Pad. The athletic department wants you to wear red, so make sure you get out a Rod's Squad, AK's Army or K'Ville shirt...or just wear a damn polo.
The win tonight puts the Rebels in decent position to get the #2 seed in the Western division for the SEC Tourney. We'll still have to win at Arkansas to tie that spot up, however.
There's no reason why Ole Miss should or could lose this game. Plus I try not to ever pick LSU to win at anything.
Ole Miss 85