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Live Thread: Ole Miss vs. Missouri

The downtrodden Rebels arrive in Columbia, and the Tigers are looking to stay in the mix for a double-bye in the SEC tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve read anything posted by this outlet over the past couple days, we’ve beaten you over the head with the idea that the SEC race is bonkers and the only certainty is uncertainty.

Well, playing a last-place team who just decided to live that Interim Life should be as close to sure thing as there is in this conference. Then again, the bottom of the league rose up last week to pick off Auburn, Tennessee and Florida. And on paper, the Rebels could generate enough transition offense to pick off a disengaged group of Tigers.

That would be a shame, too.

MU’s closing stretch is optimal for moving up from sixth to third in the standings. Take a look at the KenPom average of its remaining opponents, along with the Tigers’ average win expectancy, compared to other contenders.

  • Auburn: 49.3 (68.8 percent)
  • Tennessee: 62.3 (69.3 percent)
  • Florida: 24.8 (45.0 percent)
  • Missouri: 63.3 (58.8 percent)
  • Arkansas: 30.3 (45.5 percent)
  • Alabama: 26.8 (43.5 percent)
  • Kentucky: 51.3 (56.0 percent)
  • Texas A&M: 63.3 (62.5 percent)

Given that Auburn and Tennessee have pretty firm holds on their respective spots, it’s worth looking at the rest of the field. The Aggies’ recent attrition may doom them, but there’s still a navigable route back up the standings. Outside of A&M, though, Cuonzo Martin’s squad benefits from slogging through the difficult portion of its slate during the front half of league play.

As Bill C. pointed out earlier today, KenPom’s win expectancies for each game point the way to a possible 3-1 finish. Do that, and there’s a high probability MU claims the No. 3 seed in St. Louis. A trip to Rupp Arena this weekend is a likely loss, while Vanderbilt has won five consecutive at home.

A home tilt against a flagging Ole Miss?

That should be business as usual.

The Review

The Details

Opponent: Ole Miss Rebels (11-16, 4-10 SEC)

Time: 8 p.m. CT

Where: Mizzou Arena; Columbia, Mo.

Is Mizzou Receiving Top 25 Votes? Yes, MU earned 5 points in the AP poll, making the Tigers the equivalent of 35th.

What Does Vegas Say? Mizzou - 9.0, O/U 143.5

What Does KenPom Say? Mizzou 77, Ole Miss 68 (Win expectancy: 81 percent)

Where To Watch: ESPN2/Watch ESPN app

Radio: Tiger Radio Network // Sirius/XM -119/199

Twitter: @MizzouHoops

Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball

Live Stats: StatBroadcast

Five Questions

  1. Mizzou’s managed to curb its turnovers in recent weeks. Does it finish above or below 16.5 percent tonight?
  2. Does Jontay Porter give us a repeat performance of what we saw in Oxford?
  3. What’s margin at halftime?
  4. (not a question but...) Predict the score!
  5. Who is your trifecta?