If you watched Ole Miss flip a switch to come back and upset Wisconsin in the round of 64 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, then you know why they call it madness. It’s clear the Rebels have nothing going for them except for the occasional hot streak by Marshall Henderson, which is beyond terrifying for their fans, but it’s also part of the reason why they might just bust a lot of brackets in the next couple of weeks.
Having watched Henderson play in high school, then when he was at Utah and finally in his incredible second half to knock off Florida in the SEC Tournament title game, I had a very odd gut feeling, so I picked Ole Miss to upset Wisconsin, but then lose to Kansas State in the round of 32. While writing this, K-State is getting thumped by La Salle, so that probably won’t happen. No disrespect to the Explorers, but I’ll take Henderson and his ragtag bunch of Rebels to beat them in the round of 32, which would put Ole Miss in the Sweet 16 against either Gonzaga or Wichita State. The scariest part? Ole Miss could easily beat either one of those teams as well.
Then again, Ole Miss could beat most any team in the bracket if Henderson is hot. The troubled and sometimes seemingly disturbed youth had a repeat performance in the tournament after scoring two points in the first half against Florida before exploding in the second. He had exactly the same total at intermission against Wisconsin and then got hot to completely change everything about the game.
The problem is Ole Miss won’t be able to hang close enough against elite teams waiting for Henderson to heat up. Either that or the Rebels won’t be able to hang on if he goes cold in the second half. However, that’s what everyone said in the SEC Tournament title game as well as the opening NCAA Tournament game and look what happened.