Last night, the Ole Miss basketball team rolled in the first round of the SEC Tournament in an 86-74 victory over Missouri. The competition intensifies today as the Rebels will face the Arkansas Razorbacks in the quarterfinals with a chance to avenge a late season loss in Fayetteville.
In a game where the Rebels shot an abysmal 37 percent, Ole Miss fell to Arkansas 98-80. Deandre Burnett and Terrence Davis shined bright for the Rebels combining for 51 points. Look for them to be aggressive early on in tonight’s matchup in an effort to set the tone. Both Burnett and Davis were solid last night, and they should be able to stay hot tonight against Arkansas. Breein Tyree played his supporting role well as of late, including back to back 3s to stretch the Rebel lead last night. Tyree finished with 11 points and combined with Sebastian Saiz’ senior leadership; the Rebel offense is functioning at a high level.
Allowing 98 points is a difficult obstacle to overcome, a much more solid defensive effort is needed if the Rebels hope to advance to the semifinals. The defensive focus must shut down Daryl Macon, who went off for 30 points in the February matchup. Unfortunately for Ole Miss, Arkansas depth will keep them off balance all night. In the win over the Rebels, Arkansas bench contributed 51 points, while Ole Miss’ scored just 12.
While the chance at redemption may seem like enough motivation, the Rebels must keep their focus on bigger and better things. A win over Arkansas might mean a spot in the 68-team field of the NCAA tournament. But with no guarantee, Ole Miss has to keep a chip on their shoulder all the way through the tournament. The winner of tonight’s game will go on to face either Florida or Vanderbilt, depending on the outcome of that contest tonight.
Tip-off from Bridgestone Arena is set for 8:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on the SEC Network and the Ole Miss Radio Network. The WatchESPN app will stream the game, and OleMissSports.com will have the radio broadcast as well.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.