At 6 p.m. in God’s time zone on Wednesday, Ole Miss will play in the second-worst SEC basketball game of the season, which also doubles as the start of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.
The worst game will be the one that follows (Georgia vs. LSU) because it won’t tip off before 8:30 PM and will be played in front of 1,200 people, mostly made up of Kentucky fans who have a different definition of entertainment than the rest of the free world or are possibly being held against their will. Who’s to say?
In the opener, Ole Miss faces South Carolina, a team that clocked in with 4 conference wins, which is one more than the Rebels. The teams played twice this year, with Ole Miss winning in Columbia and the Gamecocks evening the score in Oxford.
If Ole Miss were to win, the Rebels would play Tennessee on Thursday afternoon and likely end its season just prior to happy hour. On the other hand, Rick Barnes is involved in a game in March, which opens the door to endless possibilities for the underdog.
Odds that Ole Miss gets hot and on any kind of a winning streak are very much not great. Checking the historical ledger, they have not won two straight games since [squints at schedule] - GOOD LORD - November 24th and 25th.
However, if you’re looking to add degenerate behavior to your life and tie your emotions into the results of Ole Miss sports, you can find odds for Ole Miss winning the SEC Tournament anywhere from +14000* all the way up to +50000*, depending on where you’re shopping (no free ads!). For comparison, Alabama, who is the favorite to win, is going from +145 up to +165.
*If you’re unfamiliar with odds and payouts, a successful $100 bet on Ole Miss to win it all at +14000 would earn you $14,000 (plus your $100) and $50,000 at +50000.
For more context, if the college basketball scriptwriters decide to burn it all down and get Ole Miss across the finish line, here’s how insane that would be in the context of other long-shot winners:
- 16-seed University of Maryland, Baltimore County upsetting 1-seed Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Tournament (+2000)
- Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson in 1990* (Douglas was +4200)
- Appalachian State (then FCS) upsetting Michigan in 2007 (+8500)
- 1999 St. Louis Rams winning the Super Bowl (+30000)
- U.S. Men’s Hockey Team winning Olympic gold in 1980 at Lake Placid (+100000)
- Leicester City winning the English Premiere League in 2015 (between +200000 and +500000)
*1990 was like 15 years ago, right?
It would be more nuts than Douglas beating Tyson or Appalachian State’s upset win, but not as nuts as the American hockey gold medal or Leicester winning the EPL. My proprietary Ole Miss-based model equates that to Hugh Freeze not facing a mutiny from the 2017 team*, who were sick of his shit in late 2016.
*Well, that’s if Freeze coached the 2017 team instead of resigning prior to the season due to him using his university-issued phone to set up activities with women who were not his wife. Please note, this is prior to him getting in the DMs of a sexual assault victim at Liberty to tell her how wrong she was about Liberty’s athletic director, who was the athletic director at Baylor during their sexual assault scandal.
As mentioned above, Ole Miss’ likely exit from the 2022-23 season will happen on Thursday afternoon, but what are their odds of living to tell the tale until Friday and beyond? Thanks to the analytics wizards at TeamRankings, we have some calculations on Ole Miss’ chances of getting to each round of the SEC Tournament.
They give Ole Miss a 75 percent chance of beating South Carolina and getting to Round 2, and then the percentages fall off dramatically. The math here gives them a 2.6 percent chance of seeing the weekend where they would likely face Alabama in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Of course, the real ones know all of this talk is absurd, and it all ends (mercifully) Wednesday night. In the days after, we’ll find out if Ole Miss actually does hire a coach, who less than 3 months ago, faced a felony and prison time related to domestic violence until his fiancée decided not to cooperate with the Travis County District Attorney, thus removing any chance at a conviction. If it comes to pass, it’s really, really, really gross stuff.