Ole Miss Rebels vs. Mizzou Tigers: Four Factors Preview and Open Thread

USA TODAY Sports

The Rebs are hanging on by a thread and need a win against Mizzou tonight in the SEC Tournament if they're going to get into the big dance.

[ED: As always, buster_bluth helped with this, because he knows and loves basketball stats as well as anybody. Much obliged, buster.]

Here's how the Rebels (23-8, 12-6) match up with the Missouri Tigers (23-9, 11-7) using the Four Factors. (Conference Rank in Parentheses).

Ole Miss O

Mizzou D

Mizzou O

Ole Miss D

eFG%

48.7% (5)

49.5% (9)

52.8% (2)

49.9% (11)

TO%

15.8% (1)

18.7% (9)

19.1% (5)

19.8% (8)

OR%

32.4% (6)

27.5% (1)

35.8% (2)

32.1% (8)

FTR

40.9 (4)

32.7 (6)

38.5 (6)

30.2 (3)

Remember how Mizzou won the BigXII tournament last year? No? You don't? Well they did, and they were a No. 2 seed in the big dance to boot. One year later and they're still a likely participant in March Madness, but as a No. 6 seed in the SEC tournament. They'll face our Rebels who, despite being the No. 3 seed in this tournament, remain on the bubble for the big dance (that, my friends, is just how bad a loss to the worst Mississippi State team in decades is for the ol' resume).

So it's do or die time for the Rebels as they hit the hardwood for a critical rubber match with the Missouri Tigers. Both teams collected impressive home wins this season, with the Rebels winning 64-49 in Oxford and the Tigers thumping Ole Miss 98-79 in Columbia. This will be the Rebels first game of the SEC Tourney, while the Tigers slogged through a 62-50 win against Texas A&M last night.

There are no surprises with teams at this point of the season. The Rebels and Tigers have squared off twice already this season and there's game footage of the other 16 conference games to pore through. At this point, it's all about desire and execution. The Tigers are 9-5 over their last 14 games, with the 5 losses by a combined 16 points. The Rebels are a mere 5-3 over their last 8 games, with the 3 losses by a combined 9 points. Those three losses though were against Texas A&M, South Carolina, and Mississippi State, the 11-, 12-, and 13-seeds in the SEC Tourney. A victory in each of those games would've given the Rebels an outright SEC championship.

Recent history is not on the Rebels' side for this one tonight. It has become tradition under AK to come to the SEC tournament needing to win a game in order to secure that elusive tournament bid. It has also become tradition to lose that game. Any bracketologist worth his salt currently has the Rebs as one of the "first four out," which does mean that a win over Mizzou could very well put this team as one of the "last four in," so if you're putting two and two together to predict a Rebel loss tonight, you're not alone.

Considering our stance on that, I find the ever brilliant Bill C's take on this to be somewhat amusing:

Ole Miss is a hard team to predict. For as inconsistent as we feel Missouri has been, the Rebels have been about 10x more. If Marshall Henderson makes the crazy, often stupid shots he takes, Ole Miss becomes nearly unstoppable on offense. And if they are playing physical interior defense without fouling too much, they are tough to handle on that end, too. They are fighting for their NCAA Tourney lives tonight, and I think that makes the difference. Pomeroy predicts an 80-76 Mizzou win, but I'll flip that around a bit and say Ole Miss 82, Mizzou 78. If Mizzou brings its own A-game, however, it could make this prediction look very silly.

Oh Bill. If only you understood how little "fighting for our NCAA Tourney lives" actually means. I'll re-flip the script and say that Mizzou beats Ole Miss by four. I sure as hell don't at all want this to happen, as I actually want the Ole Miss men's basketball team to, you know, make the tournament and all. But, as with most Ole Miss fans, what I want rarely coincides with what I get.The Rebs are hanging on by a thread and need a win against Mizzou tonight in the SEC Tournament if they're going to get into the big dance.

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