In this weekly feature, we look at the previous opponents of the Ole Miss Rebels basketball team to track the quality of the Rebels’ resume.
What a difference a couple games make.
Last week, Ole Miss was clinging on the bubble with a No. 46 ranking in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), an algorithm that’s replaced the RPI this year. Now, after a road win at Vandy and a massive home victory over top-15 Auburn, the Rebels have climbed all the way to 29th.
That makes Ole Miss’ postseason outlook pretty damn rosy. It’s obviously still too early to proclaim a spot in the NCAA tournament for sure, but we’re enjoying the hell out of this ride as basketball fans.
Let’s first see how the two Ole Miss losses are holding up.
Cincinnati Bearcats (12-3) | NET: 36
Notable win: 71-57 vs. Ole Miss (NET: 29)
Worst loss: 73-71 vs. East Carolina (NET: 232)
Upcoming games: at Tulsa, UConn
Butler Bulldogs (10-6) | NET: 48
Notable win: 83-76 vs. Ole Miss (NET: 29)
Worst loss: 84-76 vs. Georgetown (NET: 103)
Upcoming games: at Xavier, @ Depaul
Butler dropped a very tight 76-75 decision at Seton Hall in the mid-week, and now the losses are really starting to pile up on the Bulldogs. It’s still not a bad loss by any stretch, but struggles in Indianapolis are a little more annoying.
“The only way this loss becomes a problem is if Cincy doesn’t roll through the American Athletic Conference,” I said a week ago, and then the Bearcats dropped a game to East Carolina. Upsets are going to happen, but Ole Miss needs Cincinnati to be in the top two or three of a competitive AAC for this loss not to sting a little.
And now for the teams Ole Miss has beaten.
Vanderbilt Commodores (9-5) | NET: 71
Notable win: 81-65 vs Arizona St. (NET: 64)
Worst loss: 77-75 vs Kent State (NET: 140)
Upcoming games: at Kentucky, South Carolina
Auburn Tigers (11-3) | NET: 23
Notable win: 93-88 vs Murray St. (NET: 42)
Worst loss: 82-67 vs Ole Miss (NET: 29)
Upcoming games: Georgia, at Texas A&M
San Diego Toreros (12-5) | NET: 96
Notable win: 70-64 vs Colorado (NET: 90)
Worst loss: 68-56 vs Santa Clara (NET: 199)
Upcoming games: Pepperdine, at Portland
Baylor Bears (9-5) | NET: 75
Notable win: 73-70 vs Iowa St (NET: 19)
Worst loss: 59-58 vs Stephen F. Austin (NET: 248)
Upcoming games: Kansas, at Oklahoma St.
Illinois St. Redbirds (9-7) | NET: 207
Notable win: 92-89 vs BYU (NET: 120)
Worst loss: 58-56 vs Valpo (NET: 179)
Upcoming games: at Loyola Chicago, Southern Illinois
Western Michigan Broncos (6-9) | NET: 242
Upcoming games: Toledo, Buffalo
Nicholls St. Colonels (9-7); NET: 293
Upcoming games: Houston Baptist, at McNeese St.
Louisiana Monroe (9-5) | NET: 146
Upcoming games: at Georgia Southern, @ Georgia St.
Southeastern Louisiana (4-11); NET: 329
Upcoming games: Abilene Christian, Lamar
Chattanooga Mocs (7-10) | NET: 265
Upcoming games: Samford, Mercer
Middle Tenn. St. (3-12); NET: 326
Upcoming games: at Southern Miss, at Louisiana Tech
Florida Gulf Coast (5-12) | NET: 262
Upcoming games: at North Florida
I’m stating the obvious, but a win over then-NET No. 13 Auburn was enormous for the Ole Miss resume.
Vanderbilt needs to figure some things out after dropping games to Ole Miss and Georgia in the same week, but it is still a conference road win against a top 100 squad.
If you’ve been following this closely, nearly every team with the exception of Baylor and La. Monroe took a hit or stayed the same in this week’s NET.
Baylor logged an upset of No. 20 Iowa St. this week to jump into the top 75, and our neutral site win back in November gave us some additional credibility. La. Monroe is shaping itself up to potentially be a contender for conference champion in the Sun Belt, and Ole Miss’ lopsided win against them would be supported further.
It would be most helpful if teams like Illinois St. and San Diego could stay relevant in their conferences, because the rest of the field is unlikely to compete from everything we’ve seen.