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.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.