Despite sitting at 19-10 on the season and being just 9-7 in conference play, the Ole Miss Rebels are a team that in other years may slip under the March Madness radar and fall outside the field of 68. However, the Pac-12 is especially light this year while outside of Gonzaga and Buffalo, there haven’t been many mid-major programs making headlines. This helps to open the field up and not just include Ole Miss, but potentially give them a solid seeding to set them up for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Although Ole Miss would be likely to make the tournament if the season ended today, they get a tough test in hosting number 6 ranked Kentucky Wildcats before ending the season with a road game against the lowly Missouri Tigers.
Although Ole Miss doesn’t have any player projected to make much of an impact at the next level, they are a team that oozes a combination of experience and talent at the guard spots. The old adage in the NCAA tournament is that experienced guard play dominates, and Ole Miss offers that in their duo of Breein Tyree and Terence Davis who each do a little bit of everything.
To make matters more interesting, the Rebels run out two additional younger guards who also produce at a very high level in sophomore Devontae Shuler and freshman Blake Hinson. Hinson, in particular, has the potential to turn into a very good player for the Rebels and has flashed his elite talent on a few occasions on the year.
Ole Miss Rebels March Madness Resume
Heading into their final two games of the season, the Rebels have just a 4-9 record against other quadrant one teams. However, in a home matchup against Kentucky, the Rebels have an opportunity to add a signature win to the season and tack on an additional quadrant one win going into the SEC tournament.
Ole Miss does have a pair of ranked wins over (at the time) #11 Auburn and #14 Mississippi State but have stumbled against the majority of other quality teams that they have faced. In other years, a resume with this many losses and a lack of signature wins would likely be overlooked in favor of stronger teams, but the NCAA is extremely top-heavy this season and the Pac-12 is going to be nearly non-existent in the tournament.
ESPN’s BPI has Ole Miss ranked as the 46th team in the nation despite ranking 56th in strength of schedule. A big win over Kentucky could send the Rebels skyrocketing up the ranking list, but even if they don’t they should be a safe bet to make the tournament.
Ole Miss Rebels NCAA Tournament Prediction
Barring an all-out disaster that involves losing to both Kentucky and Missouri before going winless in the SEC tournament, the Rebels should likely see themselves in the NCAA tournament and looking at something around a 10 or 11 seed.
While the Rebels have struggled in the regular season they do boast an experienced backcourt, something that puts a scare into many teams come March. However, this is a team that features no NCAA tournament experience and while they run out hungry veteran guards, they will likely be facing a tournament-tested team in the first round given their seeding.
Ole Miss has the tools for an upset as they can catch fire from deep and have multiple weapons who are comfortable chucking from deep, but inconsistency has been a theme for the Rebels all year and will almost certainly follow them into the tournament. Don’t expect a first-round upset, but if they do pull one off, it is unlikely the parlay that into a deep NCAA tournament run.