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Ole Miss basketball finalizes 2015-16 schedule

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The SEC league office finalized the conference schedule and the Basketbears will host Alabama on January 7th for their first game in The Pavilion.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss men's basketball has released their full SEC schedule for 2015-16, and it appears that the Pavilion will open for business on January 7th. The Rebel roundballers had previously announced their non-conference schedule, which raised questions of whether Andy Kennedy and company were purposely avoiding home games in the twilight of the the Tad Pad. Now, it seems, AK's award-winning theatrical performance has rubbed somebody raw in the SEC league office, because the Ole Miss netmen will open conference play at Kentucky again next season.

A league-opening dust up in Lexington is actually, probably, a good thing, though. How better to test your mettle than a roadtrip rehash of last season's January barn-burner, in which Martavious Newby almost made Ole Miss history with a tantalizingly close three-pointer? Good grief that one still stings.

The Rebels return to Oxford on January 7th to host Alabama, which will offer Ole Miss their first look at the Tide's new coach Avery Johnson. The Basketbears will follow up that match with a second home stand against Georgia on January 9th, who, you may recall, took the Rebs for a ride twice last season. The Rebel women will crack the champagne against Florida on January 10th.

The Rebs have five home-and-home opponents this season: Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and something called a "Mississippi State." Unfortunately, Ole Miss only gets one look at helter-skelter Tennessee, whose recent spate of coaching turnstiles is never not funny.

The full schedule is below.

2015-16 slate

Nov. 5 Clayton State (Exhibition)
Nov. 13 Northwestern State
Nov. 16 Georgia Southern
Nov. 19 George Mason (Gildan Charleston Classic, Charleston, S.C.)
Nov. 20 Oklahoma State or Towson (Gildan Charleston Classic, Charleston, S.C.)
Nov. 22 Gildan Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)
Nov. 25 Georgia State
Nov. 28 at Bradley
Dec. 5 vs. UMass (Springfield, Mass.)
Dec. 12 at Southeast Missouri
Dec. 15 Louisiana Tech
Dec. 18 at Memphis
Dec. 22 Troy
Jan. 2 at Kentucky
Jan. 7 Alabama
Jan. 9 Georgia
Jan. 13 at LSU
Jan. 16 Florida
Jan. 19 South Carolina
Jan. 23 at Mississippi State
Jan. 27 Auburn
Jan. 30 at Kansas State
Feb. 3 at Missouri
Feb. 6 Vanderbilt
Feb. 9 at Florida
Feb. 13 Arkansas
Feb. 16 at Texas A&M
Feb. 20 at Auburn
Feb. 23 Missouri
Feb. 27 at Georgia
March 2 Mississippi State
March 5 at Tennessee
March 9-13 SEC Tournament (Nashville, Tenn.)