Last year was disappointing for the Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels were one win shy of an NCAA tournament berth last year. One more marquee win and they would have gone into March with the NCAA instead of the NIT. One win, over any decent team and Ole Miss would have had a better end to the season. However, they failed to get it done and ended up in the NIT and were overpowered in the first round by Illinois State. Yes, overpowered by Illinois State.
This year, the Rebels will have to overachieve in the SEC if they want to make it to the postseason. The hardest nonconference teams Ole Miss faces are strong Middle Tennessee State and Rutgers teams. They must pull a few major upsets in the conference if the Rebels want to succeed this season, but the opportunities for major upsets are rare.
They only play Florida and Kentucky once and Tennessee and Missouri twice. The Rebels must defeat teams like Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and Alabama consistently or they will be NIT again this year. Ole Miss has what it takes to succeed in the SEC, but it seems they fall short every year.
Ole Miss has a few talented returners in Murphy Holloway, Jarvis Summers, Nick Williams, and Reginald Buckner that should give them the talent to achieve an upset or two in a very tough SEC this year. The Rebels are a good team, but in a strong league like the SEC, good gets a team into the NIT, not the NCAA.