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Ole Miss Rebels to Host Mississippi State Bulldogs in Oxford

The Rebels are looking to avenge an SEC-opening loss in Starkville.

Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

The Egg Bowl on Hardwood (are we really calling it that?) returns to the Tad Pad this afternoon as the Ole Miss Rebels (13-5, 4-1 SEC) face the arch-rival Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-5, 3-2 SEC) at 3:00 PM Central. The game will be aired on the SEC Network and will be available on WatchESPN.

The Rebs lost a close, back-and-forth affair in Starkville to kick off the SEC season, falling to the Bulldogs 76-72 two weeks ago. That game was one of two SEC contests during which Marshall Henderson served part of his three game suspension (the other being Auburn). He and his 18.7 points per game, coupled with the Tad Pad's home court advantage, should serve to the Rebs' advantage this afternoon.

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Does this game matter much for the Rebels' postseason chances? SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean seems to think so, if only to avoid yet another RPI-killing loss:

The Rebels have two things going for them this week: 1) they got Marshall Hendersonback from suspension and 2) they were the only team not named Florida that went 2-0 for the week. While Ole Miss isn't an NCAA team yet, thanks to a 1-4 record against the Top 100, the Rebels should get there eventually if they keep picking up wins. That means they'll need to take care of Vanderbilt (in Nashville, not an easy task) and avenge an SEC-opening loss to Mississippi State (which occurred on the road without America's most-polarizing player) in the coming days.

The Rebs took care of Vanderbilt, and if they can take care of State and head into February with one of the SEC's top conference records. Granted, in-conference competition is yet to really heat up, but the Rebels should take wins when they can get them, and this afternoon at 3:00 PM is certainly such an occasion.