Georgia Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels Basketball Preview and Open Thread

What is that State player doing? Does he think he's going to make a play? - Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The Rebels head to Athens today with tipoff at 3 CT.

Ole Miss travels to Athens in a must-win game. Georgia is a relatively equal team to Ole Miss, having beaten Missouri, LSU, and Alabama. They have four bad losses, but three of the four came in the first four games of the season. Since then, they've been a capable team that has hung with some good competition. Their RPI sits at 105 despite four bad losses. That's pretty telling about some of the good things they've done this year.

Sophomore guards Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines lead the way in scoring with 13.7 and 11.6 ppg respectively. The Bulldogs are also good at rebounding, with a margin in that department of +5.2. They don't have one specific player who averages a lot of rebounds, but as a team, they do well there.

Ole Miss, on the other hand, is last in the conference in rebounding margin, at -3.2. It isn't pretty. To an extent, that's to be expected when you lose two prolific rebounders to graduation. On the other hand though, it was not expected for the fall off to be this severe. Aaron Jones, Sebastian Saiz, Demarco Cox, Dwight Coleby, et al. were expected to step in and be adequate there. So far, they're not.

At this point, we know what Ole Miss is. If Jarvis Summers, Marshall Henderson, and one other scorer (be it Tony Perez, Snoop White, or.... Sebastian Saiz?) step up, they win. If they don't, the Rebels lose. Also, the Rebels don't play well on the road... a troubling fact since they'll be playing in Athens this afternoon.

It's a toss-up. RealTimeRPI (which at this point thinks Ole Miss will win every home game and lose every away game), suggests that UGA will win. That's quite possible. In fact... I'm going to predict it. I don't think Ole Miss will be able to answer with wins at home against Kentucky, Florida, and Alabama all in a row though. Because that would be really nonsensical.

Bulldogs by 5.

Start time: 3 CT / 4 ET

Internet Coverage: ESPN3

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