A sell out crowd is expected to watch Ole Miss and Memphis take the court this morning in the biggest basketball game of the season for the Rebels thus far.
The Rebels (5-2) are undefeated at home so far against mostly overmatched non-conference opponents, but the Tigers (5-2) come in as the No. 18 team in the country. Granted, Memphis just got shocked in Athens by a moribund Georgia team, and head coach Penny Hardaway could have them full of piss and vinegar when they arrive in Oxford.
Senior guard Jarkel Joiner leads the Rebels in points per game with 15.4 and will no doubt need to have a solid game to keep Ole Miss’ chances alive for an upset. Memphis is slightly favored by -1.5 according to latest Vegas lines.
Tomorrow is officially !— Ole Miss Men’s Basketball (@OleMissMBB) December 3, 2021
Doors open at 9:30 AM
️ Free admission for the first 1,300 Ole Miss students pic.twitter.com/hXDRwGLxFP
Ole Miss has struggled at times to score the ball as evident by a 60-50 loss to Boise St. earlier this season. Memphis has had the same issue at times, but it has a solid defense averaging nearly 10 blocks and 10 steals per game.
The wheels seem to be falling off a bit for the Tigers, losing its last two games to the aforementioned Bulldogs by three and Iowa State (78-59). Memphis does have a decent win over Virginia Tech under its belt, but Hardaway and Co. have not won a true road game yet this season.
I know a lot of Rebel fans hate playing Memphis in anything, regardless of rankings or whatever, but this is why the rivalry exists. The Tigers basketball program is more heralded and gives Ole Miss a chance to play to a national TV audience early in the season, so let’s give it a good run. Fans will have a chance to see where the Rebels stack up a bit for the future as well as Memphis plays No. 16 Alabama and No. 13 Tennessee over the next two weeks.
Personally, I think the moment Georgia upset Memphis earlier this week, Ole Miss’ chances for an upset took a huge shot. It could be one of those wake up call moments Tiger coaches use to blow out whoever is next. Welp, the Rebels are next and could walk into a buzz saw today.
Line: Ole Miss +1.5
How to watch
Where: The Sandy and John Black Pavilion, Oxford, Miss.
When: 11am CST
Online streaming: WatchESPN