Ole Miss (15-10, 10-8) ended the regular season in style on senior night at The Pavilion, whipping the Vanderbilt Commodores and securing the 6th-seed in Nashville this week at the 2021 SEC Basketball Tournament. Kermit Davis and the fellas have “enjoyed” an up-and-down year, struggling to score consistently and shuffling an always-evolving lineup that now has several vacancies.
Thursday, the Rebels will take on South Carolina (6-14, 4-12), a team that has had consistency issues of their own due to COVID-19. If Ole Miss can get it done on Thursday, they will move on to the next round to take on three-seed LSU, yet another team battling their own inner demons. And the FBI.
This week is essentially make or break for Ole Miss. They most likely need to get to Saturday if they want to feel even remotely comfortable on the NCAA Bubble. Even then, they will need some help elsewhere and will need conference favorites to secure automatic bids.
The Rebels truly need a big week out of their two seniors. As Shuler and White go, the team goes, in my opinion. The two combine for 25.6 points per game and seem to be inside-outside heart and soul of the team. When the combination of accurate outside shooting from Shuler pairs with dominant board play and tough points in the paint, the Rebels are hard to beat with the way they defend.
13 of the 14 conference teams are seeded according to record and placed into a five-round bracket. Auburn will sit this year’s tournament out due to Bruce Pearl being Bruce Pearl.
The top four seeds earn byes into the quarterfinal round on Friday, the next seven into the second round on Thursday. The bottom two teams duke it out in the first round on Wednesday for the right to play the Gators.