Do Ole Miss Rebels Deserve 2014 NCAA Tournament Berth After Alabama Loss?

By Taylor Sturm
Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

The Ole Miss Rebels are one of the teams considered just outside the 2014 NCAA Tournament bubble that still have a lot of work left to do despite a 17-7 record. Their work got a little bit tougher after not being able to survive a tough road game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Ole Miss just couldn’t handle Trevor Releford and Nick Jacobs, who combined for 41 points. Rebels star Marshall Henderson had a dreadful game, just 4-of-15 from the field, en route to a 67-64 loss that essentially kills their 2014 NCAA Tournament chances.

The major problem for the Rebels moving forward is that they have no marquee wins. Their best win was against the Missouri Tigers just one game ago. Ole Miss is a talented team, but they aren’t going to be a lock for the tournament without a major upset over either the Florida Gators or Kentucky Wildcats, who they have back-to-back at home. A win in one of these games would help to solidify the Rebels spot in the Big Dance.

Unfortunately, with the way that Ole Miss has played this season, they are going to have a tough time moving forward. They’ve struggled against fast, young teams and have won three true road games all season long; each of which was against a weak opponent. The loss to Alabama was devastating, but they aren’t out of the tournament discussion yet. However, one more loss to a non-elite opponent and their dreams of March Madness will be over, no matter who they beat down the stretch.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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