Andy Kennedy’s rambling band returns to Oxford for a second date with Bruce Pearl’s club, having taken the first of their home-and-home series, 88-85. That was back on Jan. 7, when the Rebs were still stuttering around trying to figure things out. They’ve played more consistent basketball in the intervening month, even if that hasn’t manifested itself in wins and losses.
Auburn (16-8, 5-6 SEC), for its part, has fared similarly, taking losses to Kentucky, South Carolina and a resurgent Tennessee while besting Alabama twice in two weeks. The Tigers are scoring at a decent clip, and their 79.8 points per game is for third in the dang conference, behind only Arkansas and Kentucky. KenPom currently ranks them No. 76 overall and in scoring rate, wherein they’re averaging 110.6 points per 100 possessions.
Say what you will about the Basketbears’ loss to Tennessee earlier in the week — and there is much to say about it — but they played valiantly for much of that game. It wasn’t until three minutes remained that Ole Miss remembered who it was, and anyway Tennessee just downright outplayed AK’s guys.
It’s tempting to see Saturday’s bout in The Pavilion carrying both teams into the 80s in points, especially since Ole Miss has bore witness to some fairly crazy basketball in its history, and Pearl’s clubs are always well coached. We shall see.
How to watch:
Where: Oxford, Miss.
When: 5 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Online Streaming: WatchESPN