The Ole Miss Rebels and the Alabama Crimson Tide are both “on the bubble” for the NCAA tournament. The Rebels lost a horrible game to the last place team in the SEC, the Mississippi State Bulldogs, while the Crimson Tide lost a tough game to the first place Florida Gators. At this point, both teams are on the outside looking in to the NCAA tournament. However, they play each other Tuesday night in a crucial game that should determine which team will go to the big dance and which team will go to the NIT.
Marshall Henderson is still the top scorer in the SEC, but Ole Miss is still on a slide. A month ago, the Rebels were definitely into the NCAA tournament. The Rebels cannot beat teams away from home, no matter how bad that team is. Ole Miss has lost back to back away games to horrible SEC teams, South Carolina and Mississippi State, but the game versus Alabama is at home for the Rebels and they will play at their best.
Alabama has thrown away their chance at an SEC regular season title with the loss to Florida, but still lead in the SEC West and should get a double-bye for the SEC tournament. The Crimson Tide should be in the NCAA tournament with a few more wins, but there is no more room for mistakes by Alabama this season.
Ole Miss and Alabama must win this game if they want to go to the NCAA tournament without an outstanding performance in the SEC tournament. However, the Crimson Tide and the Rebels both want to try to get the second seed in the SEC tournament because being on the opposite side of Florida in the bracket will be the difference between making the NCAA tournament and making the NIT.