What in the actual hell happened? Of all games, the Rebels had to utterly fail against Cocky on Thursday, 60-58. Under the careful scrutiny of Bracketologists everywhere, Ole Miss went and offered up a duck for those who will argue that the Rebs aren't tournament-worthy. Perfect.
To watch the Rebels steadily fall in the Bracketology conversation has been nothing short of angrily depressing. Did they peak too early? Did they ever peak at all? What happened to the consistency, dammit? It would be hugely disappointing -- if unsurprising -- to see Ole Miss fail to make the NCAA Tournament, but let's be honest: the Basketbears just aren't playing the same caliber of basketball as they were in Fayetteville or Auburn or Gainesville or Starkville or Columbia.
That said, those wins may be just enough to push Ole Miss into the Round of 68. ESPN's Joe Lunardi, CBS Sports' Jerry Palm and USA Today's Shelby Mast all have the Rebs among the last four in. Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation also has Ole Miss limping in with the last four, though he acknowledges that's precarious at best: "Ole Miss might have played its way out of the field, with the type of ill-advised foul on a desperation three that would have led to the creation of the #SECBasketballFever hashtag, if it didn't exist already."
At this point, as Riley Blevins points out, Ole Miss and the Rebel faithful turn their attention to the other bubble teams. A&M went down hard to Auburn on Thursday and Texas lost in a barn burner to Iowa State. Both outcomes bode well for the Rebs' spot in the field, which now hinges on how Temple, UCLA, Richmond and Tulsa fare in their respective tournaments. Hate on, haters.
Silver linings, though: should Ole Miss get passed over for the Dance, they'll have a wicked seed in the NIT.