Marshall Henderson had 23 points, Reginald Buckner and Murphy Holloway combined for 27 points and 16 boards, and Ole Miss erased an early 10 point deficit to take home a 64-52 win over Vanderbilt in the SEC semifinals.
And with that, Ole Miss suddenly becomes one of the most interesting bubble teams in the country.
They have two wins over Missouri. They have two wins over Tennessee. They are 8-6 against the top 100 in the RPI. But they have also played 13 games against sub-200 teams and lost two of them.
And therein lies the conundrum.
Beating Vandy did absolutely nothing for the Rebels in regards to their tournament standing. The Commodores are miles better than they were back in November, but that’s still a team that is a ways away from being in the RPI’s top 100. On Sunday, Ole Miss takes on Florida, and while a win would really help their seeding, it will also earn them the automatic bid.
They’ll be in the tournament.
But what about a loss? Will keeping it close with a No. 2 seed be enough to push the Rebels past some of the other teams on the bubble?
Our Dave Ommen updated his bracket this morning, and Ole Miss was the first team out. None of the five teams in front of them played today. And of the teams currently behind the Rebels, Alabama and Maryland both lost.
That win over Vanderbilt and a potential loss to Florida likely won’t change anyone’s opinion on Ole Miss, which means that Andy Kennedy better hope that the Selection Committee thinks more highly of his team than Dave does.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.