Matching up in the south region, the eighth-seeded Ole Miss Rebels take on the ninth-seeded Oklahoma Sooners in the first round of the March Madness NCAA Tournament. The last time these two Power-5 Conference opponents matchup up was back in December of 2000 where Ole Miss came out on top.
Obviously, things have changed considerably since the last meeting between the two teams with each team being on their third coach since 2000. However, this matchup should likely be another tightly contested affair between two very evenly matched teams.
Ole Miss Rebels vs. Oklahoma Sooners Betting Line
(Betting Line and Total courtesy of Oddsshark.com)
- #8 Ole Miss Rebels (20-12) vs #9 Oklahoma Sooners (19-13)
- Friday, March 22nd – 12:40 pm ET
- Point Spread: Ole Miss Rebels (-2)
- Point Total: 143
Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma March Madness Bracket Projection & Pick
Ole Miss is a team built to cause problems in the tournament, although they likely won’t win it all. Behind the experienced backcourt duo of Breein Tyree and Terrence Davis, the Rebels have one of the most important pieces in place for a deep tournament run. Tyree and Davis have been prone to going cold on occasion and are both making their March Madness debuts but still remain one of the more intriguing duos to watch.
While Oklahoma lacks the guard play that Ole Miss brings to the table, they have a slightly stronger frontcourt that should help them control the tempo of the game. Unfortunately for them, Ole Miss isn’t a team that relies too heavily on adjusting tempo and actually plays at a similar speed to Oklahoma so this game should wind up seeing Ole Miss and Oklahoma trade baskets down the stretch. Expect big rebounding nights from the Oklahoma frontcourt as they should have a slight edge there and will need to exploit it to stay in the game.
I would advise staying away from the spread in a game that projects to be as closely contested as this one. Furthermore, with the teams being so similar in makeup, it becomes even tougher to make a prediction that way. Instead, we should take a look at the under. First things first, both teams have sub .500 records against the point total, indicating that both teams often score less than expected. Combine that with the fact that this is the first tournament outing for many members of both programs and you get a recipe for a low scoring affair.
Pick: UNDER 143
Other Southern Region Matchups
#1 UVA vs #16 Gardner Webb
#2 Tennessee vs #15 Colgate
#3 Purdue vs #14 Old Dominion
#4 Kansas State vs #13 UC Irvine
#5 Wisconsin vs #12 Oregon
#6 Villanova vs #11 St. Mary’s
#7 Cincinnati vs #10 Iowa