In early February, with a 16-7 (7-3 SEC) record, the Ole Miss Rebels were on the NCAA bubble per many bracketologists - on the wrong side of the bubble, and by a wide-ish margin, but on it nonetheless. After a win over Mizzou that marked the Rebels only really good win on the year at that point, Ole Miss traveled to Tuscaloosa Alabama to face a less-than-mediocre Crimson Tide team. At this point, Ole Miss was in a position where all they needed was to avoid another bad loss and maybe pick up another good win - perhaps in the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament - to back into an NCAA Tournament berth.
At that point, as an SEC team with a losing record, Alabama wasn't a team that many of us were too worried about playing, even on the road. We were in a legitimate spot to take the second-best record in the conference; they weren't going to stop us, right?
Trevor Releford went on to score 26 points that night, three of which came on that game-winning shot. Ole Miss would lose 67-64, and go on a four game losing streak and finish the final eight games of the season with a 2-6 record.
Not only did the Rebels' poor finish cost them an already improbable NCAA berth, but the Rebels weren't even invited to the NIT. It was a finish that was vastly different from last year's SEC Tournament Championship, and one that does not have Ole Miss fans particularly optimistic for the immediate future.
And it's also a total bummer because I know we were all looking forward to taking the 'Bring down to the 'Bees to watch the Rebels play in the tournament, all while downing some top shelf margs and cruising through a menu full of bold flavor sensations, you guys. Oh well, there's always next year.