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Who Ole Miss should root against during the conference tournaments

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The Rebs controls their March Madness destiny, but what non-conference teams should they keep an eye on through the league tourneys?

Hatin' ass Kennedy, hatin' hatin' hatin'
Hatin' ass Kennedy, hatin' hatin' hatin'
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Conference tournament season is in full swing and Ole Miss needs at least one win this week to concretize its spot in the Round of 64. The SEC Tournament is but one of 31 run-ups to the Big Dance, and thus the bidding war over tourney seeds involves that delicate calculus of who beat whom and when and how. The Rebels' tournament fate, then, radiates out to those teams currently projected above and below where they now sit.

As of the Tuesday projections, ESPN's Joe Lunardi and NBC Sports' Dave Ommen both slot the Rebels at a 10-seed playing San Diego State. Christ Dobbertean follows their generosity and likes the Rebs as a 10-seed against Iowa. Jerry Palm at CBS Sports, however, holds Ole Miss back in a play-in game against Indiana for an 11-seed, while USA Today's Shelby Mast slides them into a fight with Texas for the 11 spot.

Taking a step back, here are the five bracketologists' respective seedings on either side of Ole Miss, including the teams similarly seeded from the other regions (BOLD indicates teams that have already locked down a spot in the tournament):

Surrounding teams when Ole Miss is projected 10-seed

Other 10-seeds 9-seeds 11-seeds
ESPN

Colorado State
LSU
VCU

Xavier
Georgia
NC State
Dayton
Boise State
Purdue
Temple/Texas
Oklahoma State
NBC Sports
Purdue
Oklahoma State
LSU
NC State
Oregon
Cincinnati
Georgia
Indiana/Temple
Davidson
Colorado State
Boise State
SB Nation
Davidson
Boise State
Oklahoma State
NC State
Ohio State
Oregon
LSU
Georgia
Purdue
Colorado State/Texas
Indiana/Temple
Surrounding teams when Ole Miss is projected 11-seed
Other 11-seeds 10-seeds 12-seeds
CBS Sports [vs. Indiana]
Davidson
Purdue
Boise State
LSU
Georgia
Texas
Colorado State
Louisiana Tech
Valparaiso
Wofford
Illinois/Texas A&M
USA Today [vs. Texas]
Purdue
Boise State
Temple
Georgia
Dayton
NC State
Davidson
Louisiana Tech/St. Francis
Stephen F. Austin
Wofford
BYU/Indiana

Some common names begin to appear on the scatter plot, notably Colorado State, Oklahoma State, Boise State, Temple, NC State, Purdue, and Texas. Bear in mind that as the Rebs pick their way through the SECT minefield, these apposite squads are engaged in a parallel shadow dance alongside them.

Which is to say, the ACC, Big 12, B1G, and (randomly) Mountain West tournaments all hold tangential significance for Ole Miss' tournament prospects. In a way, the Rebels ought to actively root against these teams, especially in the event of a Thursday loss, under the enemy-of-my-enemy logic.

In an even more cutthroat move, here are each bracketologist's detested last-four-in and first-four-out considerations (or in the case of Dave Ommen, the last and first five):

Last Four In and First Four Out
ESPN CBS Sports USA Today NBC Sports SB Nation
Last Four In BYU
Temple
Texas
Indiana
Indiana
Ole Miss
Illinois
Texas A&M
Temple
Purdue
Texas A&M
Texas
Colorado State
Indiana
BYU
Temple
Texas
Colorado State
Indiana
Temple
Texas
First Four Out Miami (FL)
Old Dominion
Tulsa
Texas A&M
BYU
Tulsa
Temple
Miami (FL)
Tulsa
BYU
UCLA
Old Dominion
Texas A&M
Miami (FL)
Illinois
Tulsa
Old Dominion
Texas A&M
Miami
UCLA
Old Dominion

Here again Texas, Temple, and Colorado State loom, and it's remarkable that Ole Miss only appears as a last-four-in squad for Jerry Palm. Damn you, Jerry. In any case, these are the teams that the Rebel faithful should really hate over the next four days, since Andy Kennedy's traveling band is now inextricably bound up with them until Selection Sunday.

Put your hatin' hats on, people. It's gonna be a helluva week.