The Vanderbilt Commodores and Mississippi Rebels are scheduled to meet at The Pavilion on Saturday night to close out the SEC schedule. Then the “new” SEC season is going to begin on Wednesday with the first-round of the SEC Tournament. It’s going to be a wide-open affair that doesn’t include the Kentucky Wildcats as one of the favorites.
Kentucky is going to have a seat at the table, though, and sometimes that’s all it can take. For the Wildcats to go to the NCAA Tournament, it’s going to require a win in the SEC Tournament. They dug a hole too big for themselves in the regular season that this is going to be the only path.
There is a lot that is yet to be decided as far as seeding goes in the SEC Tournament. Ole Miss could receive as high as the fifth seed or low as the eighth. For the best-case scenario to happen, the Rebels will have to beat Vanderbilt tonight, along with Florida beating Tennessee, and LSU topping Missouri.
Ole Miss is currently on the bubble with one game left in the regular season. Winning the SEC Tournament probably isn’t required, but they must beat Vanderbilt and then make a strong push on Wednesday and beyond in the conference tourney. They have to aim to impress at this point in the season. The Rebels are 14-10 overall and 9-8 in the conference.
Vanderbilt needs to pull off multiple upsets for the Commodores to be playing in late March. The only way a ticket will be granted is a win in the conference tournament. They can go into the tournament as the No. 11 or No. 12 seed. The most likely scenario is the No. 12. In other words, it’s going to take a big upset for the Commodores to win the conference.
The Commodores are coming off an impressive performance on March 4 against the Cincinnati Bearcats on the road. They bounced the Bearcats by a score of 78-64 for their second win since mid-February. Their other win was against this Ole Miss team on February 27 at home by a score of 75-70. The Commodores go into Saturday with a record of 8-14 and 3-12 in the SEC. Head below for our free Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss pick on March 6, 2021.
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Mississippi Rebels NCAA Betting Odds:
Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi Prediction:
Motivation has to be taken into consideration for this game. Vanderbilt has little to play for on Saturday night. There isn’t much difference between the No. 11 and No. 12 seed in the SEC Tournament, so any benefit of a win vs a loss isn’t that important. Having said that, there is little for Vanderbilt to lose in this game. They can play with house money and not have to stress about the result.
Ole Miss is on bubble watch at the moment, and boasted their claims with a recent 70-62 win over Kentucky on Tuesday. They have to keep winning, though, so this matchup while meaningless to Vanderbilt, carries a lot of weight for the Rebels. It’s hard to put my support behind Ole Miss in the NCAA Tournament if they can’t beat a shabby 8-14 Vanderbilt team at home. The Commodores got the best of Ole Miss just over a week ago.
Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss at home by a score of 75-70. They were coming off a big win over Missouri on the road, 60-53, and then just collapsed in a letdown spot. I suspect that the defensive intensity is going to be ratcheted up several notches in this meeting, though. Ole Miss likes to grind teams off the floor with an aggressive defense. They have allowed only 63.8 points per game for 36th in the NCAA. At home they’ve been better with 60.3 points conceded per game.
I’m expecting motivation for the Commodores to be low tonight. They are coming off an impressive 78-64 win on the road, and likely aren’t thrilled about going back on the road again in a back-to-back spot as a visitor. Vanderbilt is likely looking towards the NCAA Tournament already, and not looking forward to playing an aggressive Ole Miss defense this evening. Look for the Rebels to grind out a 72-60 win to close out the regular season at home on senior night.