Yes, Ole Miss hoops backed into the Big Dance by losing four of its last five games, including a one-and-done showing in Nashville. Yes, that late fade may be the Rebels’ lack of depth and size taking its toll at the end of a long season in a fiercely competitive SEC. No, we’re not going to let any of that dampen our excitement about Ole Miss dancing for the first time since 2015.
We here at the Cup are taking an optimistic approach to the NCAA Tournament, which, quite frankly, is a little new for us. But in a year that the Rebels were supposed to be the worst team in the SEC, we’re playing with house money here. Kermit Davis’ first season in Oxford has been exciting as hell and we hope to enjoy it a little longer.
We like the Rebels’ first-round matchup against Oklahoma, a team that finished seventh in the Big 10 and has struggled with perimeter defense and offensive rebounding. We’re not the only ones: the early Vegas line has the Rebels by two points.
So while it probably means the Rebels will lose by 20, we’ve gone ahead and penciled them in for a first-round win in our bracket. Our optimism doesn’t extend to a second-round upset of No. 1 Virginia, but, hey, we’re trying.
Wanna share in the optimism? Print this bracket, which already has Ole Miss in the second round.