|OM O||VU D||VU O||OM D|
|eFG%||50% (139)||45.9% (61)||51.2% (97)||46.3% (71)|
|TO%||17% (83)||16.2% (296)||20.7% (296)||20.7% (54)|
|OR%||32.8% (136)||34% (268)||30.4% (213)||36.3% (321)|
|FTR||44.8 ( 89)||35.5 (77)||43.8 (110)||42 (206)|
The Rebels head back to the Music City tonight, which served as the birthplace of Marshall Madness last year when this happened.
Last year, Vandy knocked down 17 3s and only 9 2s as the duo of Buckner and Holloway was too much to overcome inside. Last season, Vandy led the country in reliance on the 3ball, scoring 38.7% of their points from deep. This year, Vandy is a little bit better balanced on offense, scoring just 25.9% of points from behind the arc. Unfortunately for the 'Dores, they still are a very poor rebounding team that turns the ball over way too much and struggles to hit FTs.
The Rebels have struggled to rebound the ball defensively this year, but VU doesn't have the personnel to exploit that. LSU outrebounded them 48-24 on Saturday. The Rebels outrebounded LSU 49-41 on Wednesday. They also turn the ball over at an alarmingly high rate - 20.7% - and don't force many turnovers, meaning the Dores have to endure many more empty possessions than their opponents.
The Rebs have gotten a 20-point game out of a role player in each of their last two games with Sebastian Saiz scoring 20 against LSU and Anthony Perez exploding for 20 against South Carolina. Jarvis Summers and Marshall Henderson are going to score from the perimeter, but having that 3rd scorer from either a post or wing position makes the Rebels that much more dangerous. This sets up as a game for either one of those guys to do well as both pose a difficult matchup for the VU frontcourt.
The 'Dores rank 9th in the nation in defensive 3P% as opponents are shooting just 28.1% against them from deep. I would imagine that the offense would start from the inside out tonight as the 'Dores' emphasis will undoubtedly be on Henderson. Getting Summers going towards the basket and finding Saiz or Aaron Jones cutting could help get one of them rolling early.
This is another one of those games that you've got to win. The margin for error right now is very slim and a loss to this Vandy team would not bode well for a 2nd straight Dance bid. I think the Rebels come out and bully Vandy down low and leave Nashville with yet another win.
(Sure to be terribly, terribly wrong) Predictions:
Ole Miss 77, Vanderbilt 69
(As always, the national rankings pulled from kenpom.com, quite possibly the coolest site on the whole wide intertubes... Red Cup Rebellion excluded of course)