Big Blue Nation will most likely provide a boost to attendance on Tuesday when Kentucky tips off with Ole Miss in Oxford.
The Rebels (9-12, 1-7 SEC) will host the Wildcats (14-7, 5-3 SEC) with both teams coming off a loss in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Prior to those debacles, Kentucky was riding a four game SEC winning streak.
This is one of the most lopsided series in college basketball with the Rebels historically going 14-109, but remarkably Ole Miss beat Kentucky in 2021 in the SJB Pavilion, 70-62. Last season, the Rebels lost in Lexington with the Wildcats taking a 83-72 victory.
If Ole Miss is to pull off the upset, it is likely it will be short-handed with leading scorer Matthew Murrell day-to-day with an ankle injury.
Ole Miss' Matthew Murrell (knee) is a game-time decision for today's game against Kentucky, per Kermit Davis. Averages 14.9 PPG. Has not played since 1/21.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 31, 2023
Now, the Cup has been under the assumption this is Kermit Davis’ last season in Oxford as Ole Miss’ head coach, so the outcome of this one single game is not likely to change that as Kentucky is not its usual top 25 self. I’m not cheering for a loss by any means, because any time the Rebels can hand John Calipari an L, count me in. However, Ole Miss seems like a bad match-up on Tuesday, and I would expect a big game out of Oscar Tshiebwe.
Tshiebwe has averaged a double-double this season and also all of last season. He’s going to get his, and the Wildcats have three other players averaging double digit points per game. If Davis’ defense-first strategy can slow down and frustrate this talented offense, maybe anything is possible. I just don’t see the Rebels capable of putting up enough points to keep this game close, even on its own court. But, hey, it’s college basketball anything can happen right?
From a degenerate gambler standpoint, the Wildcats are somewhat of a bargain at -260 on the moneyline, but the spread anywhere from -6 to -8 depending on which sportsbook you frequent. According to at least one sports radio broadcaster out of Memphis, there’s one upside to Davis’ continued employment at Ole Miss.
I really need Kermit Davis to finish the year. He’s a cash cow right now.— Jeffrey Wright (@JWright929espn) January 29, 2023
Moneyline: Kentucky -260; Ole Miss +210
How to Watch
Where: Sandy and John Black Pavilion, Oxford, Miss.
When: 8:00 p.m. CT
Online streaming: WatchESPN