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The Rebels travel to Fayetteville to potentially shore up a tourney berth

If the Rebels can win this one, several bracketologists believe it doesn’t matter what else happens.

Arkansas v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

When Ole Miss faces Arkansas Saturday at noon, a lot will be on the line. It’s not necessarily a must-win, but if the Rebels were to lose, there would be tremendous pressure to either beat Kentucky or make a decent run in the SEC tournament.

Back in mid-January, Ole Miss hosted the Razorbacks and coasted to an 84-67 victory. Dominik Olejniczak scored 13 points with five rebounds and somehow kept NBA-bound Daniel Gafford at bay (9 points, 10 rebounds on 2/6 shooting). Bruce Stevens also went for 14 points and 7 rebounds as the Ole Miss bigs couldn’t be stopped. It was.... weird.

Since that time, the Rebels have maintained their hopes of the NCAA tournament. The most recent ESPN bracketology projects Ole Miss as a 9-seed. On the other hand, the Razorback have lost six games in a row, though they did get within four points of upsetting Kentucky Tuesday night.

Undoubtedly, one of the traditionally more difficult places to play in the SEC is Bud Walton Arena regardless of how good Arkansas is. The physical location of it is not close to anything, anywhere, but it’s enormous and full of hill country Arkansas fans who come out of their walled up compounds to call the Hogs religiously.

For the Rebels to win, they’ll need to keep Gafford in check again and not fall into matching Arkansas’ pace. If they do that, handle the road environment and Breein Tyree and Terence Davis don’t force too many bad shots, the Rebels should walk away with the victory.

How to watch

Where: Fayetteville, Arkansas

When: Noon

TV: SEC Network

Online streaming: WatchESPN

Ole Miss vs. Arkansas Comparison

. Ole Miss Arkansas
. Ole Miss Arkansas
NET rank 38 72
Record 19-9 14-14
Strength of schedule 48 44
Record vs. Group 1 teams 5-8 2-9
Best win 23 Auburn 13 LSU
Adj. offensive efficiency rank 38 90
Effective FG% rank 66 186
Adj. defensive efficiency rank 54 62
Opp. effective FG% rank 137 138
Adj. tempo rank 118 44