Apparently the selection committee forgot to lock the back door of the 2015 NCAA Tournament and Ole Miss was able to slip in with the last four teams. Despite losing four of their last five games, the Rebels are on the bracket as a play-in vs. BYU for the 11-seed in the West Region. That game will take place at 8:10 p.m. CT Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio.
If the Rebs win, they move on to face 6-seed Xavier in Jacksonville, Fla. Also in the bracket group are 3-seed Baylor and 14-seed Georgia State.
You couldn't have faulted the committee if they'd chosen to leave the Rebs out in the cold. Projected as high as a 7-seed less than three weeks ago, they face-planted at the end, losing to Georgia, LSU, Vanderbilt and South Carolina in the span of 15 days. Ole Miss walked into the SEC Tournament with their own destiny firmly clinched in their hands, but let it slip away in a disastrous last-second loss to the Gamecocks. And don't forget about that season-opening loss to Charleston Southern or the ugly L against TCU three weeks later.
On the other hand, the Rebs won 20 games, notched nine top-100 RPI wins (including on the road against Oregon and Arkansas) and took No. 1 Kentucky to overtime in Lexington. Fortunately that was enough.
Here's what the bracket draw looks like:
And here's a look at the West Region as a whole:
To check out (and print!) the entire bracket, click right here.
We'll have plenty of bracket analysis coming your way over the next few days, but for now let's all just take a collective sigh of relief and crack open a beer. The Rebs are dancing, cheers, y'all.