TV Schedule: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Arena: C.M. “Tad” Smith Arena, Oxford, Ms.
Line: Ole Miss (-5)
In what will likely be the best game of the night, the 8-1 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to face the 7-2 Ole Miss Rebels. Both teams are looking for a good win against an NCAA tournament-bound opponent.
Louisiana Tech defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes on the road and have a nice win over the UT-Arlington Mavericks, but they were blown out by the Memphis Tigers. As one of the favorites to win an underrated Conference USA, Louisiana Tech has pretty much been the team everyone expected them to be heading into the season. Alex Hamilton and Erik McCree are averaging a combined 34.1 points and 13.6 rebounds, making this team one of the most dangerous mid-majors in the country.
Similarly, Ole Miss has been exactly the team we expected them to be coming into the season. Stefan Moody is an absolutely fantastic college basketball player, leading the SEC in points per game with 23.6. The Rebels continue to struggle offensively outside of Moody and Sebastian Saiz, but their defense is talented enough to allow them to win games despite their offensive woes.
Both of these teams will likely end the season in the 2016 NCAA tournament or as a top two seed in the NIT. Winning this game could be a huge step forward for one of them, and a loss could haunt the other come March.
That being said, expect this game to fall on the shoulders of none other than Moody. The Rebels have not lost a game in which Moody has scored more than 18 points, and I expect him to reach those numbers on Tuesday night at home. Louisiana Tech is a great team, but they will fall just short on the road in Oxford.
Prediction: Ole Miss 75, Louisiana Tech 72