Ole Miss Rebels

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Mississippi lands junior college center

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One of the best available junior college players is joining Kermit Davis in Oxford.

Khadim Sy,  6-foot-10 center who started his career at Virginia Tech, committed to Davis and Mississippi on Monday, he announced via social media.

“First, I want to thank my parents and coaches for always being supportive and helping me get to where I am today,” Sy wrote. “Next I would like to thank God for giving me this opportunity. Lastly I would like (to) thank all the coaches who recruited me during this long process.

“All the time and effort was greatly appreciated and made this a tough decision. With that being said, I am blessed to announce I have committed to Ole Miss!”

Sy averaged 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting 55.1 percent from the floor this past season at Daytona State College, and picked the Rebels over Pitt and East Carolina. He spent his freshman season with Buzz Williams in Blacksburg, where he averaged 4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11.4 minutes in 32 games as a freshman.

 

NCAA Tournament 2019: Instant Analysis South Region

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The South Region is led by some top seeds who were bounced early in the NCAA tournament last season as Virginia and Tennessee look to redeem themselves after strong seasons.

The South Region is led by No. 1 seed Virginia. Following last season’s stunning loss to No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round, the Cavaliers will get a chance to redeem themselves against No. 16 seed Gardner-Webb, the champions of the Big South.

The No. 8/9 matchup is a matchup between SEC and Big 12 as Ole Miss and Oklahoma battle. The Rebels were one of the most pleasant surprises of any team in the field this season while Oklahoma has won some games down the stretch to earn another bid.

Wisconsin draws the No. 5 seed as the Ethan Happ-led Badgers get a major test in No. 12 seed and Pac-12 Tournament champion¬†Oregon. Although the Ducks struggled during the regular season — particularly after the loss of star freshman Bol Bol — they’re a dangerous team with two recent wins over Washington.

ANALYSIS: East | South | West | Midwest

The No. 4 seed is¬†Kansas State¬†as they are still hoping to get senior forward Dean Wade (foot) healthy enough to play in the NCAA tournament after he missed all of last season’s Elite Eight run for the Wildcats. They’ll face No. 13 seed¬†UC Irvine, the champions of the Big West.

Defending champion Villanova¬†drew no favors from the committee with the No. 6 seed. There hasn’t been a No. 6 seed in the Final Four since 1992 as the Wildcats will have an uphill battle to make the Final Four for the third time in four years. They draw No. 11 seed Saint Mary’s as the Gaels gained a lot of momentum in winning the WCC title over No. 1 seed Gonzaga.

Earning a surprising share of the Big Ten regular-season title this season, Purdue draws the No. 3 seed as they get a tough first-round opponent in No. 14 seed Old Dominion.

The committee also didn’t help No. 7 seed Cincinnati as the Bearcats had an impressive showing in an AAC title-game win over Houston on Sunday. The Bearcats will face No. 10 seed Iowa in a clash of styles and tempo.

After falling short in the SEC tournament title game, No. 2 seed Tennessee gets a matchup with No. 15 seed¬†Colgate — a program making its first NCAA tournament appearance in 23 years. Although the Raiders feature the Patriot League Player of the Year in forward Rapolas Ivanauskas, they’ll face one of the best frontcourts in the tournament with the Vols’ veteran combo of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield.

No. 6 Kentucky earns hard-fought 80-76 win over Mississippi

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OXFORD, Miss. — Keldon Johnson scored 22 points, Tyler Herro added 20 and No. 6 Kentucky earned a hard-fought 80-76 win over Mississippi on Tuesday night.

Kentucky (25-5, 14-3 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from its 71-52 loss at No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday. PJ Washington had 13 points — all in the second half — to help the Wildcats ward off a tough challenge from the Rebels.

Kentucky shot 55.4 percent from the field and dominated in the paint with 34 points.

Ole Miss (19-11, 9-8) has lost three straight and four of five. The Rebels trimmed their deficit to 78-76 with six seconds left, but Immanuel Quickly made two free throws to put the game out of reach.

Terence Davis led the Rebels with 25 points on his Senior Night. Breein Tyree added 21.

Ole Miss led 39-38 at halftime thanks to 15 points from Davis. The 6-foot-4 guard also had six rebounds and two assists before the break.

Herro scored 13 points in the first half on 6-of-6 shooting.

BIG PICTURE

Kentucky: It was a good bounce-back win for the Wildcats, who were once again tested. Kentucky prevailed thanks to an efficient offense that finished tough chances close to the rim. Washington’s second-half outburst was huge. Kentucky remains in the mix for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Ole Miss: The Rebels were feeling good about their NCAA Tournament chances a few weeks ago, but three straight defeats have hurt the resume. Two have come against Tennessee and Kentucky, and while those are certainly understandable, it means Saturday’s road game against Missouri could have NCAA implications.

UP NEXT

Kentucky: Hosts Florida on Saturday.

Ole Miss: Plays at Missouri on Saturday.

Bubble Banter: Xavier, Alabama, Utah State with critical games

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The latest NBC Sports bracket projection can be found here.

WINNERS

MINNESOTA (NET: 56, SOS: 55): The Golden Gophers landed a massive, massive win on Tuesday night, as they picked off Purdue (11) in Minneapolis. It’s the third Q1 win for Richard Pitino’s and their second elite win in league play — they also beat Wisconsin (17) on the road. The Gophers are just 2-8 this season on the road, but they are sitting here on March 6th with a 19-11 record, 10 wins against Q1 and Q2 opponents and just one loss outside the top 100 — at Boston College (111), which is still a Q2 game. Minnesota entered the day sitting right around the play-in game on most projections, and this should be enough to get them on the right side of the bubble. They’re in a really good spot.

OKLAHOMA (NET: 41, SOS: 23): As hard as it may be to believe, Oklahoma entered the day sitting as a No. 9 seed in our latest bracket projection at NBC Sports despite the fact that they were 18-11 overall and 6-10 in the Big 12. That’s what happens when you have a pair Q1 wins, an 8-11 mark against Q1 and Q2, no bad losses and exactly zero games played against Q4 competition. Now add to that Tuesday night’s win — by 13 points over Kansas (16) at home. The Sooners play at Kansas State (27) on Saturday, and at this point, I think they are just about a lock to dance.

VCU (NET: 36, SOS: 42): The Rams did what they needed to do on Tuesday, absolutely drilling George Mason in Fairfax and heading back to Richmond needing nothing more than a win over Saint Joseph’s to just about lock up their bid. The Rams are 6-4 in Q1 and Q2 games, highlighted by a win at Texas (33), but they also have a pair of Q3 losses. I don’t know if they can withstand two more ugly losses, which is what just about every loss to an Atlantic 10 opponent is this season, but I do think they can get a bid with one.

LOSERS

ALABAMA (NET: 53, SOS: 21): The Crimson Tide whiffed on a major chance to land their third Q1 win of the season when they blew a double-digit lead at home against Auburn (20). They are now sitting at 17-13 overall with two Q1 wins and a 9-12 mark against Q1 and Q2. The loss to Georgia State (135) at home is bad, but the win over Kentucky (5) is good. They’re probably sitting in one of the play-in games at the moment, so there is definitely work left to do.

UTAH STATE (NET: 30, SOS: 100): The Aggies dodged a massive bullet on Tuesday night, going into Fort Collins with a share of the MWC title on the line and getting taken to overtime by Colorado State (185). But they got the win, and at this point, with Saturday’s win over Nevada (23) in the books and their regular season over, I think they’re dancing as long as they can avoid taking a bad loss in the MWC tournament.

XAVIER (NET: 70, SOS: 46): Xavier played its way back into the bubble picture thanks to a surprising five-game Big East winning streak. Momentum ran out for the Musketeers during a Tuesday road loss at Butler (59). Squandering a valuable Q1 opportunity against the Bulldogs, Xavier finds itself at 3-9 against Q1 teams and a solid 6-2 with Q2 opponents. Saturday’s home game against St. John’s (61) is now a must-win scenario for the Musketeers if they want to maintain any sort of bubble credibility — but that will likely only be a Q2 opportunity.

OLE MISS (NET: 37, SOS: 85): The Rebels missed on a chance to beat Kentucky (5) at home on Tuesday, but they still are in a good spot. They are 19-11 overall, but 10 of their 11 losses are against Q1 opponents, they swept Auburn (20) and they have a total of seven Q1 and Q2 wins. I would not recommend losing at Missouri (86) and in the first round of the SEC tournament, but I do think that all it would take is one more win to get the job done.

Bracketology: Race is on for No. 1 Seeds

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We’re just under two weeks away from this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Selection Show, and the race is on for the coveted spots along the No. 1 seed line.

Gonzaga seems like a lock to lead the West Region. ¬†At this point, a loss in the West Coast Conference tournament will do little to change the Zags’ overall profile. ¬†What it would do, however, is send ripples along the bubble, because as we stand now, the WCC appears to be a one-bid league.

Tennessee earns the final No. 1 seed today. ¬†Kentucky and North Carolina are equally strong contenders. ¬†And let’s not sleep on Michigan if the Wolverines win their rematch against Michigan State and surge to a Big 10 tournament title. ¬†We also have another matchup between Duke and UNC as we await news about the availability of Zion Williamson.

NBC Sports Top 25 | Bubble Watch

On a housekeeping note … with conference tournaments beginning this week, we’ve eliminated the CAPS referring to automatic bids; those will be reserved now as teams officially punch their tickets (exceptions made for teams traditionally known by their acronym – such as VCU).

UPDATED: March 4, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
EAST REGION Temple vs. Seton Hall
WEST REGION Minnesota vs. Arizona State
EAST REGION Iona vs. Norfolk State
WEST REGION Prairie View vs. St. Francis (PA)

EAST¬†Washington, DC ¬† WEST¬†–¬†Anaheim ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
Columbia Salt Lake City
1) Virginia 1) Gonzaga
16) Iona / Norfolk St 16) Prairie View / St. Francis
8) Auburn 8) Syracuse
9)¬†St. John’s 9) VCU
San Jose Hartford
5) Mississippi State 5) Kansas State
12) Temple / Seton Hall 12) Minnesota / Arizona St
4) Kansas 4) Florida State
13) UC-Irvine 13) Vermont
Jacksonville Tulsa
6) Villanova 6) Nevada
11) Texas 11) Florida
3) LSU 3) Texas Tech
14) Yale 14) Texas State
Des Moines Des Moines
7) Buffalo 7) Louisville
10) Utah State 10) TCU
2) Michigan State 2) Michigan
15) Loyola-Chicago 15) Montana
MIDWEST – Kansas City SOUTH – Louisville
Columbus Columbia
1) Tennessee 1) Duke
16) Campbell 16) Sam Houston St
8) Washington 8) Baylor
9) Oklahoma 9) Ole Miss
San Jose Hartford
5) Virginia Tech 5) Maryland
12) Lipscomb 12) Belmont
4) Wisconsin 4) Marquette
13) New Mexico St 13) Old Dominion
Salt Lake City Tulsa
6) Iowa State 6) Cincinnati
11) Alabama 11) NC State
3) Houston 3) Purdue
14) South Dakota St 14) Hofstra
Jacksonville Columbus
7) Wofford 7) Iowa
10) Ohio State 10) UCF
2) North Carolina 2) Kentucky
15) Colgate 15) Wright State

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Florida Minnesota Georgetown Providence
Texas Arizona State Clemson Memphis
NC State Temple Furman UNC-Greensboro
Alabama Seton Hall Xavier Creighton

TOP SEED LINE: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Gonzaga, Duke, and Tennessee

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): VIRGINIA, Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, NC State

Big 10 (8): PURDUE, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): TEXAS TECH, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas

SEC (8): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Florida, Alabama

Big East (4): MARQUETTE, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, UCF, Temple

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (1): WOFFORD

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Iona (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Sam Houston State (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Campbell (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Colgate (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.

WATCH: No. 7 Tennessee survives Ole Miss on game-winning charge

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Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield were the heroes as No. 7 Tennessee avoided a third straight loss on Wednesday night in absolutely wild fashion.

After Breein Tyree, an 83 percent free throw shooter, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 18 seconds left in a one-point game, Tennessee went to the other end of the floor and got a bucket from Williams. Ole Miss did not call a time out, rushing the ball up the floor in the opposite direction before Schofield drew a charge on Devonte Shuler with just 1.1 seconds left on the clock:

The highlight of that finish was, of course, the A-plus jacket toss from Kermit Davis, who got T’d up; the Vols would go on to win 73-71.

Williams led the way with 21 points, six boards, four assists, three steals and two blocks for Tennessee, but it was Lamonte Turner who played the role of hero on Wednesday. He scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half to snap the Vols out of a funk and help erase a halftime deficit.

The question that we have had on the offensive end of the floor for this group has been whether or not they have the perimeter weapons that will be able to win matchups and create on their own, and while both of the Jordans — Bone and Bowden — struggled against Ole Miss, Turner stepped up.

And it probably got Tennessee a win.

The ending wasn’t all sunshine and daisies, however, as the Ole Miss fans pelted Tennessee players, officials and the court at The Pavilion with cups and shirts after the game ended: