Ole Miss basketball has found itself in the quarterfinals in the NIT, and will host Georgia Tech Tuesday in The Pavilion. This is not uncharted territory for Coach Andy Kennedy and his Rebels. He has been here before, however this is the run which will reap rewards.
This is a special time in Ole Miss basketball history. Coach Andy Kennedy and his rowdy Rebels are in a position to take Ole Miss basketball to the next level. See, this is a Rebel team which was snubbed by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. After accomplishing twenty wins and finishing tied for 5th in the SEC with Vandy, Ole Miss was overlooked as a star for the ‘Big Dance’.
In the past week, Ole Miss has traveled to the northeast US twice and defeated two of the legendary teams in college basketball. Teams who both had equally as good or better tourney resumes than the Rebels. Monmouth and Syracuse both have great teams and beating them on their home courts was tremendous for Ole Miss basketball.
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Of course, there are the naysayers who proclaimed Monmouth and Syracuse would both beat the young Rebels. However, after both huge wins, the same group of pundits still doubt this Rebel team. They now contend Monmouth and Syracuse must not be that good after all, which is idiocy. The two teams which the Rebels have beaten could have easily made their own runs in the tourney. However, they had to face Ole Miss.
Yes, the wins were huge. They were a shot of adrenaline straight in the heart and it has the Rebels ready to show out and make a hard run to a championship. Despite what the armchair coaches below us might quip, this AK team is special and can win the NIT. So, while sports aficionados continue to doubt Ole Miss basketball, we are in the quarters of the NIT at home. While the annual ‘fire Kennedy’ chants rise from the old guard in Oxford, here are my 5 reason the rebels will win the NIT.