We’ve hit the big time y’all.
Yes, it’s finally here. Our annual flogging in front of a national CBS basketball audience at the hands of Kentucky/Florida. It will undoubtedly cause unreasonable reactions from the casual fan who have watched one or two games so far this year.
And even though the game is in Oxford in the freezing winter of Mississippi (see: 26 degrees and patches of ice on country roads), the home court advantage may not be enough this afternoon to topple the Gators.
Florida comes in at 12-4 (4-0 SEC) with one loss coming to Duke (a G-league team tbh), one to in-state rival Florida St., Clemson, and then a church league team from Loyola Illinois or some shit.
Otherwise, the Gators have run through the SEC with relative ease, beating Texas A&M in College Station and Missouri in Columbia in the process. Road wins in college basketball are gold and Ole Miss fans can be the first to testify that they are hard to come by.
Although, the Rebels have had two solid conference wins at home this season over South Carolina and Mississippi State but faltered in both road trips.
To continue its protection of Craddock Court, Ole Miss will have to stop a four-headed monster of Jalen Hudson, Egor Koulechov, Chris Chiozza and KeVaughn Allen who all average over 10 points per game.
Florida has a balanced ability offensively and defensively, however. KenPom has the Gators in the top 20 for adjusted offense and top 50 for adjusted defense. Meanwhile, the Rebels come in at 63rd nationally in adjusted offense and 155th in adjusted defense.
So what does all that mean?
Ole Miss has to stop the transition offense of the Gators before it even starts. The Rebels must protect the ball but also cause turnovers to create more possessions for their less efficient offense.
Terence Davis has got to find his shooting stroke, which has been non-existent in SEC play. Our favorite “bull in a China shop” son has only 23 points COMBINED in four SEC games compared to averaging nearly 15 points per game in non-conference play.
If the ticket market bears any foreshadowing for the crowd today, the Pavilion should have a decent crowd but nothing close to sold out. Lower bowl tickets are available for around $50 with upper bowl tickets at about $25 on StubHub. Hell, there may even be tickets at the box office.
How to watch:
Where: Oxford, Miss., The Pavilion
When 12 p.m. CT
Online streaming: CBS.com
Show up, getcha one of those cheesey delicious burgers from Steak ‘n Shake and bask in the glory of a CBS broadcast.
And if the Rebels can’t pull this one out (ESPN says it’s a one in three chance for an upset), you can still rest in the fact that you don’t have to go back to the Florida panhandle later this evening.