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Live Thread: Mizzou Arena bids goodbye to its departing seniors against Ole Miss

The Rebels come to Columbia for the final game of the regular season as well as an emotional senior night.

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

Missouri 82 | Ole Miss 77


1st Half Notes

  • Kobe Brown with a 3-pointer to open the scoring.
  • Noah Carter checks in off the bench and immediately makes his impact felt with a two-handed slam.
  • Ole Miss is attacking the paint effectively. The Rebels are finding success inside with Brakefield, who is one of the most active players on the court. He has four points.
  • Gates takes a timeout. Missouri looks a little out of sorts on both sides of the ball. Ole Miss is on a 6-0 run.
  • 12:00—The Rebels are over 60% from the field, making up for their five turnovers. Meanwhile, the Tigers have there turnovers and are shooting just 38.5% from the field. Only one-for-seven from 3-point range.
  • Kobe Brown has five points and four rebounds, providing the biggest impact for Missouri thus far. Brakefield has six points for the Rebels.
  • Brown is showcasing his mid-air ball handling, maneuvering for a crafty layup.
  • The Tigers are not showcasing a need to shoot 3-pointers, rather recognizing that the paint is open.
  • 8:30—Kobe Brown went to the tunnel with a trainer. No word yet on what it may be. 7:25— He has returned.
  • Aidan Shaw’s explosiveness is on full display. The freshman forward with four second-chance points already.
  • DeAndre Gholston — The Tough Shot Maker. He has 12 points for Missouri, including four consecutive.
  • Auburn has knocked off Tennessee. Missouri will earn a double-bye with a victory.
  • Missouri and Ole Miss have traded punches as of late. The Tigers still hold the advantage though.
  • It was an entertaining offensive half for both teams. Gholston leads all scorers with 12 points, while Brakefield is not far behind with 10.

2nd Half Notes

  • Brakefield is up to 13 points following an opening 3-pointer.
  • Ole Miss is on a 10-4 run to begin the second half. The Rebels have not missed a shot yet.
  • Missouri is searching for an answer. Ole Miss has made each of its first five shot attempts.
  • Noah Carter with an off-balance 3-pointer before the shot clock to knot things right back up. However, Brakefield responded with another basket in the paint.
  • Mizzou Arena is rocking, feeding off a pair of steals from D’Moi Hodge.
  • Ole Miss has not made a field goal in nearly four minutes.
  • With that Sean East II 3-pointer, four Missouri players are in double figures.
  • 8:20—This one has featured 14 lead changes and eight ties.
  • Both teams are trading points, but the difference may be the free throw line. Ole Miss is 15-of-17 from the charity stripe, while Mizzou is five-of-six.
  • Missouri uses a 6-2 run to knot it up at 69 points.
  • Ole Miss is on a two-minute scoring drought, but Missouri has yet to pull away. The Rebels have committed seven fouls, meaning free throws from here on out.
  • D’Moi Hodge gives Missouri the lead with a 3-pointer from the corner.
  • Aidan Shaw with a HUGE offensive rebound. Missouri calls timeout with possession and less than two minutes remaining.
  • D’Moi Hodge and DeAndre Gholston leaving a lasting impact in their final home games.
  • Allen with a dunk to make it a two-point game.
  • Noah Carter with an and-one layup. Missouri continues to find answers from players throughout the roster.
  • Murrell comes back down the floor with his own and-one layup.
  • Nick Honor with a pair of clutch free throws, and D’Moi Hodge grabs a rebound on the other end. This one looks headed for a Mizzou victory.
  • Missouri earns a double-bye with a victory. At No. 4, this is the highest finish the Tigers have ever had in SEC play.

Pregame Updates

  • Missouri Starters: Nick Honor, DeAndre Gholston, D’Moi Hodge, Mohammed Diarra and Kobe Brown
  • Ole Miss Starters: James White, Matthew Murrell, Myles Burns, Jaemyn Brakefield and Robert Allen

5 Fan Questions:

  1. Who will lead the team in scoring?
  2. How many steals will D’Moi Hodge have?
  3. Will Mizzou have over or under 15 assists?
  4. How many points will Kobe Brown have?
  5. What will the halftime score be?
  6. Which senior are you most excited to see play?

Lastly, drop your game predictions and MVPs down below.

Missouri will bid an emotional goodbye to its seniors when Ole Miss comes to Mizzou Arena on Saturday.

There are not enough words to describe how much Kobe Brown has done for this basketball program and what he has accomplished in this time at Columbia. He will be honored for a stellar career in the season finale, as will a host of other veteran Tigers. Brown does have the opportunity to come back for another season should he take it…

The Tigers stopped a two-game losing streak by taking down Mississippi State last Tuesday. Then, they trampled Georgia in Athens before rallying for an 81-76 win over LSU on Wedenesday. Mizzou would love nothing more than to enter the SEC Tournament riding a four-game winning streak with the wind at its back.

After upsetting Georgia in early February, the Rebels suffered through a four-game losing streak before upending LSU in Oxford. They fell to Texas A&M by eight points on Tuesday, but Ole Miss appears to have improved after head coach Kermit Davis was fired.

The Tigers cruised to an 89-77 victory in Oxford on Jan. 24. D’Moi Hodge and Isiaih Mosley combined for 44 points in the game.

Game Info

When: Saturday, March 4

Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, MO

Time: 2:30 p.m. CST

TV: SEC Network

KenPom Win Probability: 80%

The Starters


PG: Nick Honor (Grad, 8.2 PPG)

SG: D’Moi Hodge (Grad, 14.3 PPG)

SF: DeAndre Gholston (Grad, 10.3 PPG)

PF: Kobe Brown (SR, 15.9 PPG)

C: Mohamed Diarra (JR, 3.8 PPG)

Key Depth: Noah Carter (SR, PF, 9.2 PPG), Sean East II (SR, PG, 7.7 PPG), Tre Gomillion (Grad, G, 5.0 PPG)

Ole Miss

PG: Matthew Murrell (JR, 15.0 PPG)

SG: James White (SOPH, 3.4 PPG)

SF: Myles Burns (SR, 7.7 PPG)

PF: Jaemyn Brakefield (JR, 10.7 PPG)

C: Jayveous McKinnis (SR, 5.0 PPG)

Key Depth: Amaree Abram (G, FR, 7.9 PPG), TJ Caldwell (G, FR, 5.0 PPG), Robert Allen (F, SR, 4.1 PPG)

*These starters are projected based on past lineups and pregame updates.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Auburn Julie Bennett-USA TODAY Sports

Get To Know Ole Miss

Since their 12-point defeat at the hands of Missouri just over a month ago, the Rebels have struggled mightily.

A surprise road win over Georgia was followed by losses to South Carolina (home), Florida (away), Mississippi State (home), and Auburn (away). They rebounded to take down LSU before falling to TAMU.

All in all, Ole Miss has lot 10 of its past 12 games and has slid to No. 12 in the conference standings.

The Rebels are 1-16 against Quads 1 and 2 and 10-3 against Quads 3 and 4.

Ole Miss excels in one area, and that is offensive rebounding. They corral 33.8% of their own misses, good for 28th in the nation (via KenPom). They lack overall size, but all of their players have high-motors and are great athletes in the air.

Offense has been a struggle for this team all season long, as they have a 47.2% effective field goal percentage and shoot at a 30% clip from behind the arc, both of which are among the worst in the nation.

The main man to watch, as it has been all season, is junior guard Matthew Murrell. He averages 15.0 points per game and is a play-maker on the offensive end. Murrell did not play in the Rebels’ January loss to the Tigers, so this will be the first look Mizzou’s guards get at him this season.

Junior forward Jaemyn Brakefield compliments Murrell well and is a matchup problem with his 6-foot-8, 220 lb. frame and guard-like skills. He scored 24 points in the recent win over Georgia and is second on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game.

6-foot-6 senior forward Myles Burns is slightly undersized for his position, but he leads the Rebels with 5.9 rebounds per game.

3 Keys To The Game

  1. Don’t get complacent

This is a win that everybody and their mother expects Missouri to get. That means that all of the pressure is on the Tigers to win and win impressively.

Ole Miss comes into this game with little to gain other than vengeance for its early-season loss to the Tigers. A loss in this game for Mizzou would kill any form of positive momentum going into the SEC Tournament.

And, at this stage of the season, momentum is everything. It would also help if the Tigers did not allow another team to shoot its season-best from behind the arc. That generally leads to upsets, and Mizzou dodged a bullet on Wednesday in that regard.

2. Take Murrell and/or Brakefield out of the game

To me, one of the few ways Missouri can lose this game is by allowing someone to have a career day. Murrell and Brakefield are each exceptionally talented players, and they could take over a game.

The good news is that Mizzou appears to match up well with this team. With no true big-man, the Tigers can guard Brakefield with Brown or Carter and have little size disadvantage. That leaves Honor, East II and Hodge to contain Murrell, who did not play in the first meeting between these two teams.

3. Let Kobe Brown do work

There are a plethora of veterans playing (potentially) their final home game at Mizzou Arena on Saturday, but none have the same connection to the Tigers that Brown does. He’s been through many, many ups and downs in his career, seeing some of the worst years of Missouri basketball before being a key cog in the revitalization of it.

Brown will certainly be motivated to play his best, and while some coaches may have a concern over a player playing with too much emotion in his final home game, the Huntsville, AL native is not that kind of guy. Brown is as even-keeled as they come, and he should be able to handle all of the motions of senior day.

If he can do that, Brown should eclipse the 18-point mark he had in the first game against the Rebels. Following an eight-point outing against LSU, he should be more than excited to accomplish just that.

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

Game Prediction

My Prediction: Missouri 89 | Ole Miss 73

KenPom Prediction: Missouri 81 | Ole Miss 72

Betting Lines are typically announced 24 hours before tip, Check DraftKings Sportsbook for the odds once they’re updated.

There is likely no other opponent you would rather be playing on Senior Night. Ole Miss is a program that Missouri has dominated in the past two seasons, and the seniors of this team deserve to be sent off with a win.

To make that happen, this team can not get complacent. The Rebels have nothing to lose and all to gain, while the Tigers are still looking to avoid a bad loss that could bump them a seed line or two.

As long as this team maintains their composure and sets the tone of this game early on, then they should be fine. The only wild card in this game is Matthew Murrell, mainly because the Tigers did not get a chance to play against him on their Jan. 24 meeting.

Still, even if Murrell has a special day, the Tigers should be able to out-score Ole Miss and send Brown and co. out with one last win at Mizzou Arena.

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