Ole Miss Rebels at Missouri Tigers – NCAAM February 23

Ole Miss (12-9, 7-7)  at No. 24 Missouri (14-6, 7-6)

  • Time: 6 PST – 7 CST – 9 EST
  • Place: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.
  • TV: SEC Network

Opening Tip:

The Rebels had a four-game winning streak end with a 66-56 loss to Mississippi State on Saturday. It felt like a lost opportunity for Ole Miss as the Rebels were beginning to approach a Top 4 seed in the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament bubble with their recent play.

Missouri ended a three-game losing steak with a 93-78 win at South Carolina. The Tigers fell from No. 10 in the polls to No. 24 during the period of the losing streak.

Ole Miss has a 14-3 lead in this series as the Rebels dominated the Tigers, 80-59, in Oxford two weeks ago. That 21-point win was the largest for Ole Miss over a Top 10 team since the Rebels defeated Alabama, 84-56, in 2002.

Vs. The Spread:

Ole Miss:

  • The Rebels check in at 4-1 ATS int heir last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 15 of Ole Miss’s last 20 goes
  • The Rebs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings with Missouri

Mizzou:

  • The total has gone OVER in 8 of Missouri’s last 10 games
  • The OVER has been the play in the last 6 games between the Rebels and Tigers
  • The Tigers are 9-2 SU in their last 11 home games

Last Time Out:

Mississippi State dinged Ole Miss for 36 points in the paint as the Bulldogs took a 66-56 win on Saturday. Interestingly, coming into the game, Ole Miss had won six of eight while Mississippi State had lost six of seven. K.J. Buffen led the Rebels with 13, but the big story was leading scorer Devontae Shuler who was held to 1-of-15 from the floor and 0-for-6 from three.

Dru Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon scored 17 points apiece and Xavier Pinson added 16 while  Mark Smith netted 13 and the Tigers logged a 93-78 win at South Carolina. Both Smiths combined for three triples in an 18-6 late first half run that gave Mizzou a 38-23 lead as the Tigers built that into a 45-29 margin at halftime. Missouri shot 57.6 percent from the field for the game.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Mississippi +3½ (-110) +145 O 131½ (-110)
Missouri -3½ (-110) -165 U 131½ (-110)

Advantage, Ole Miss:

Ole Miss Rebels LogoThe Rebels executed on offense at a high clip in the first meeting as they shot 56.9 percent from the field and the Tigers didn’t have the answer for sophomore Jarkel Joiner, (10.8 ppg, (5.4 rpg) who led Ole Miss with 21 points. Joiner has upped his scoring average in SEC play to 12.1 points per contest as his three 20-point outings have all come inside the conference. Since Devontae Shuler (15.7 ppg, 3.5 apg) struggled in potentially the worst game of his college career on Saturday, the senior will certainly come back super motivated to help the Rebels start a new winning streak with the continues eye on March.

Key Rebels Stat:

The Rebels continue to struggle with their three-point game as they have only made 25-of-80 (31.2%) of their three point shots over the last five games. Mizzou defends the three at a high clips as well (32.2%). Ole Miss will try to work the dribble-drive with Shuler and Joiner and then post-up big man Romello White (10.8 ppg, 66.7%-FG) or KJ Buffen, who has made 10 of his 15 field goal attempts  Shuler and Joiner both shoot over 80 percent from the line and they account for a combined 31.2 percent of the Ole Miss free throw attempts.

X-Factor:

Ole Miss has had a tough time turning the ball over with 14.0 per game, but on the flip side, the Rebels force 16.7. They have averaged 15.5 over the last six games, but Missouri doesn’t force but about 12. The Rebels can make this game much more fluid if they can take care of the basketball.

Advantage, Missouri:

Missouri Tigers LogoWatch the Jeremiah Tilmon matchup with Romello White as Tilmon scored 17 points in 21 minutes on Saturday as he returned after missing two games due to a death in his family. Tilmon is averaging 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.1 blocks over his last 11 games. White makes Ole Miss on defense in the paint, but Dru Smith, Mark Smith, and Xavier Pinson can open the game as they have combined for 97 of Missouri’s 135 made threes.

Key Tigers Stat:

Defensively, Missouri lost it’s way in the three-game losing streak as Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Georgia combined to shoot 50.9 percent from the floor. They defended better in the win over South Carolina as they held the Gamecocks to 41.5 percent. The Tigers want to hold opponents below 40 percent as they are 8-0 when they achieve that and 4-0 int he SEC.

X-Factor:

The depth of Missouri has played a key role in the Tigers’ rise this season as they are the 12th oldest team in D-1 hoops – 2.46 years, according to kenpom analytics. Mizzou has four players coming off the bench to average double figures in minutes, led by Mitchell Smith (20.2 mpg). This allows coach Cuonzo Martin to be able to limit players in two-foul participation as that is at only 17.6 percent, per kenpom.

Winner: Missouri (-3½) 79, Ole Miss 73
Money Line: Missouri -150
O/U: Take OVER 132.5

The Bets
Missouri Tigers -10.5
-110
Missouri Tigers
-165
OVER 131½
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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