In pretty much any other season, 18 SEC wins would guaran-damn-tee you a regional host site. But with a ridiculous seven teams hitting that mark in 2016, there's no guarantee all of them will host—the selection committee's never given that many bids to one conference, after all. So even with an 18-12 SEC record, 40 overall wins and the sixth-best RPI in the country, Ole Miss could stand to add some insurance in Hoover this week.
Which is why Mike Bianco isn't taking any chances in the tournament opener.
Brady Bramlett, who pitched last Thursday in Game 1 against A&M, is coming back on five days' rest to face Georgia on Tuesday afternoon. With the first round being single elimination (the tourney switches back to a double-elimination format on Wednesday), Bianco's banking on his ace to ensure a one-and-done showing doesn't knock his team out of the hosting conversation.
Ole Miss took two of three from Georgia at home three weeks ago, including the Friday night game Bramlett started. It was one of his rougher outings though—the junior righty gave up four earned runs on eight hits in just 4.0 innings of work.
"It was a game where I struggled with location which is odd for me," Bramlett told Chase Parham of Rivals. "I feel confident going tomorrow and I'm pitching well. I'm back to my old self again. It'll be a normal start for me."
Georgia's going with its third starter, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Heath Holder was on the mound for UGA during their lone win in Oxford, a 13-2 Sunday beatdown. The senior righty carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, allowing just one run off three hits over 7.0 innings.
How to watch
First pitch: 1 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network