It feels just likes yesterday that a brash, polarizing young man was the talk of the college basketball nation. Between receiving love on the mean streets of Twitter, to being hated by some, to him not caring, Ole Miss Rebels guard Marshall Henderson might have been the most well-known college basketball player in the country. Then, in a few fell swoops, Ole Miss is unranked, and the era of “Womp Womp Monster” Henderson feels already forgotten.
However, despite losing four out of their last five, Ole Miss has accumulated 18 wins so far this season. With another seven games left on the schedule, the Rebels will get more than 20 wins, but will it be enough to go dancing in March?
As much as you’d like to say a definitive yes or no, we can’t, because nobody knows what the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee is looking for. Will they hold the Rebels’ faltering towards the end while completely ignoring their tremendous start? Will they feel that the team only has one player, Henderson, and that if he is off the team has zero chance of competing? Or it could be another one of a dozen zany ideas they might come up with to keep them out.
While a “name” draw isn’t supposed to matter to the Selection Committe, don’t put that past them. This is the same group of people who will not give an at-large birth to a deserving team because of an injury. While they are supposed to handle picking the best at-large schools available, sometimes it feels like they just go for what looks right on a piece of paper instead of what actually is. Not saying I’d want that job, for every snub we kill them for, they do a better-than-good job overall.
But that brings us full-circle to Henderson. Love him or hate him, you care what he does. If Ole Miss were to struggle down the stretch but Henderson was to play well and add some of his patented theatrics, maybe the Rebels can get in for reasons other than just RPI. I’m not suggesting that Henderson goes all crazy.
Just make people remember why we cared about this team in the first place.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports covering primarily the Catholic Seven. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone