Bubble Watch: Ole Miss Rebels’ NCAA Tourney Hopes Fading Fast

Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss

Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

It’s looking more and more likely that the NCAA tournament this season won’t feature the Ole Miss Rebels. And unfortunately, that means the tournament won’t showcase one of college basketball‘s more exciting players either in sharpshooter Marshall Henderson.

Ole Miss dropped the battle for third place in the SEC on Saturday to Georgia in Athens. It might not appear as a bad loss given where both teams sit in the conference standings, but when you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that it is. Georgia has an RPI in the 100′s and hasn’t beaten one quality opponent all season long. And truthfully, the same can be said of Ole Miss.

Following the loss, the Rebels are now 16-9 overall and 7-5 in SEC play. Their best victory? Missouri. Yep, that tells you all you need to know about Ole Miss’ chances of qualifying for a second straight NCAA Tournament; slim to none. Opportunities do still exist on the schedule, though. In fact, there are two excellent opportunities in the next week. Ole Miss will host both Kentucky and Florida in the next seven days and ultimately its season’s fate will be determined in that time period as well.

The SEC just plain and simple isn’t a very good basketball league. It’s Florida, Kentucky and everybody else. The now third place Georgia Bulldogs lost to both of those teams by 22 and 25 points, respectively. Ouch.  This conference looks like a three, maybe and I really stress the “maybe”, four bid league.

If Ole Miss wants to be one of those three to four teams, it better get its act together in a hurry. The next week in Oxford should be fun. Win both games or even grab one, and who knows? Maybe the tournament is still within reach. If not? Well, they’ll join the majority of the SEC in asking, “when’s college football start?”

Matthew Sturgeon is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27

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