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Ole Miss basketball: Welcome to the Opponent Tracker

Who’s beating who? Who’s being true? Who don’t even care anymore?

NCAA Basketball: Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee State
We need to see this happen in Oxford ASAP
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

In this weekly feature, we’ll look at the previous opponents of the Ole Miss Rebels basketball team for the 2018-2019 season to see how they are trending in an effort to track the quality of wins the Rebels are compiling.

Sometimes a win is a great win in the moment, but it eventually turns into a win you should’ve won.

And sometimes a win seems like no big deal at the time, and it over time becomes a nugget of gold in your schedule.

Such is the life of college basketball scheduling and how teams plan to build resumes for March Madness.

Ole Miss currently sits at 5-2 on the season, and the wins and losses all matter right now in a way that could vastly change by the time a tournament committee sits down to decide their collective fate for the Big Dance.

Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Absolutely. Ole Miss sits at No. 66 in the vaunted KenPom rankings, which would put them on the bubble already.

But we wouldn’t be doing ourselves justice as Ole Miss very good Rebels if we didn’t throw as much coal into the hype train as we possibly could.

First, we’ll take a look at the losses, which consist of one true road and one neutral site loss each.

Cincinnati Bearcats (8-1); KenPom: 33

Notable win: 71-57 vs Ole Miss (KP: 67)

Worst loss: 64-56 vs Ohio State (KP: 20)

Upcoming games: Xavier, No. 25 Mississippi State, UCLA

Butler Bulldogs (6-2); KenPom: 28

Notable win: 61-54 vs Florida (KP: 21)

Worst loss: 69-64 vs Dayton (KP: 84)

Upcoming games: Northern Illinois, Indiana

With both of the losses, neither of these teams should cause resume problems for Ole Miss down the stretch if they continue to avoid any schedule bombs. Butler has already faltered against Dayton and Saint Louis, but they’ll be buoyed later in the year by a strong Big East schedule.

Now, for the five wins Ole Miss has tallied so far, believe it or not, there may be some hay in the proverbial barn already.

San Diego Toreros (7-2); KenPom: 87

Notable win: 70-64 vs Colorado (KP: 58)

Worst loss: 93-86 vs Ole Miss (KP: 67)

Upcoming games: San Diego St., No. 18 Oregon

Baylor Bears (5-3); KP: 64

Notable win: 63-57 vs South Dakota (KP: 158)

Worst loss: 72-69 vs Texas Southern (KP: 228)

Upcoming games: Arizona, No. 18 Oregon

Western Michigan Broncos (4-4); KP: 233

Notable win: 85-77 vs Oakland (KP: 251)

Worst loss: 71-66 vs USC Upstate (KP: 324)

Upcoming games: No. 7 Michigan, Dayton

Nicholls St. Colonels (5-4); KP: 271

Notable win: 62-61 vs Western Michigan (KP: 233)

Worst loss: 89-72 vs Washington St. (KP: 163)

Upcoming games: Boston University, Louisiana Monroe

Louisiana Monroe (3-4); KP: 216

Notable win: 80-52 vs Northwestern St (KP: 348)

Worst loss: 79-73 vs Tennessee Tech (KP: 332)

Upcoming games: Grambling, Stephen F Austin

I wouldn’t even say some of these are notable wins, but it’s really just the best some of these teams have got right now, sheesh.

What we can glean from the wins so far is that we really, REALLY need Baylor and San Diego to help us out. Right now, Baylor looks to be in the bottom half of the Big XII for sure, and San Diego plays in the difficult West Coast Conference with the likes of Gonzaga.

Every team has their cupcakes in the non-conference, so of course in perspective Ole Miss has done what it needed to do against those teams. The Rebels next game comes on the road against Illinois St. (KP: 151) in what will be a revenge game from last season when the Redbirds beat the Rebels in Oxford in overtime.