This year’s trip to Nashville has much more meaning for Ole Miss than the last few trips. The Rebels defeated Missouri on Saturday, most likely punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Any games that they win in the Music City is icing on the cake for their resume.
Ole Miss (20-11, 10-8 SEC) earned themselves the seven-seed in Nashville after hitting the coveted 10-win mark in conference and will face Alabama on Thursday. The winner of that game takes on Kentucky on Friday night. The Rebs had their chance to knock off John Calipari’s Wildcats last week but conceded a lead late and lost.
Kermit Davis’ squad played probably their worst game of the season in Tuscaloosa earlier this season, losing 74-53. In order for Thursday’s game to be different, the Rebs will need to limit Donta Hall’s touches on the low block and rebound well. The Tide out-rebounded Ole Miss by 12 in that meeting, snatching 20(!) offensive boards.
As the Rebels front court goes, so does their season, in my opinion.
All 14 conference teams are seeded according to record and placed into a five-round bracket. The top four seeds earn byes into the quarterfinal round on Friday, the next six into the second round on Thursday. The bottom four teams duke it out in the first round on Wednesday.