Well the season isn’t over until it’s over, right?
There is at least one more Ole Miss men’s basketball game remaining, and it comes in game one of the SEC Tournament. A tournament where a team can get hot and do something unexpected — remember the nutso tornado year where Georgia shocked everyone?
I do not anticipate this to be a repeat, however, with the 2021-22 Rebels without Daeshun Ruffin and Robert Allen, but stranger things have happened.
The key for the Rebels will be its stingy defense. Often times on neutral floors, teams struggle to score. If Ole Miss can make it even harder on the opponent to score with its defense, they will at least have a fighting chance.
For Kermit Davis and company, it’s win the whole thing or bust. There is no scenario for an NIT or NCAA berth without a historic miraculous run. It is going to be tough without Ruffin, but the Rebs do roster a guy in Matthew Murrell that is capable of carrying his team through the gauntlet.
Ole Miss has given Tennessee, Auburn and Kentucky tough games this season. On a neutral floor, with a hot Murrell, I suppose anything is possible.
vs Missouri Wednesday, 6pm ET on SEC Network
The Rebels have a 25-point loss and a 6-point loss against the Tigers this season. A -31 overall should not provide too much hope in making it out of a play-in game, however I believe I can talk myself into Ole Miss pulling this one out. Mizzou is a 12-seed for a reason, although Ole Miss is certainly the 13-seed for reason, but something tells me the Rebs strike their first upset.
vs LSU Thursday, 2pm ET on SEC Network
Ah, another Tigers team standing in the way of the Rebels. Maybe the Rebs should video in Joe Exotic for a pre-game pep talk on how to become the Tiger Kings? — I cringed just typing that— Ole Miss went into Baton Rouge and came out victors in their lone matchup this season and are fully capable of pulling yet another upset in the tournament here. LSU has talent, they just have not been able to put it all together for Will Wade this year. I guess cheating doesn't always pay off.
vs Arkansas, Friday 2pm ET on ESPN
The red-hot Arkansas Razorbacks may just be the team to put an end to the misery of this season. They have been one of the best teams in the NCAA down the stretch, however they are not playing at home where they have been incredible. The double bye in the SEC Tourney is a double-edged sword. They will be more rested, but were Ole Miss to make it to this game, they would have the rhythm and proverbial momentum.
vs Auburn/Texas A&M/Florida, Saturday 1pm ET on ESPN
Texas A&M and Florida battle in the 8-9 game that is essentially an NCAA tourney elimination game as both teams are on the bubble as Next Four Out according to Joe Lunardi. I would imagine that Auburn would win this matchup and set up for the third contest between the two teams. It is very difficult for a team to beat another team three times in one season and Ole Miss gave Auburn a tough go in the previous two matchups. Again, miracles happen?
A tired worn down Ole Miss team would likely be facing either Kentucky or Tennessee. Two super talented teams that Ole Miss is capable of beating. The Rebels almost did it to Kentucky and should have against Tennessee. The job saving game for Kermit Davis were he to make it here and win and a bracket buster for the bubble teams.
A guy can dream right...
An extremely likely outcome is a Wednesday exit that would force Keith Carter to really dig deep and determine if they need to go into a different direction coaching wise. A game to watch would be the Florida/Texas A&M game as a Florida loss could have a direct impact on the coaching position at Ole Miss.