Ole Miss begins postseason play tonight with Alabama in SEC Tournament opener


From Special Reports



NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ole Miss will begin postseason play when it competes at the 2019 Southeastern Conference Tournament held in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The Rebels are the No. 7 seed and will square off against the No. 10 seed Crimson Tide on Thursday at 6 p.m. on SEC Network, with Tom Hart (play-by-play), Laura Rutledge (analyst) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) on the call. 


The Rebels come into Thursday night's contest as one of the surprise teams in the Southeastern Conference, headlined by SEC Coach of the Year Kermit Davis. Ole Miss was picked to finish last in the league in a preseason vote by media and coaches but earned the No. 7 seed in this year's tournament, finishing with a 10-8 league record and 20-11 overall mark. 


Davis is in his first season at the helm of the Ole Miss program. Now in his 24th year as a head coach, Davis has compiled a record of 489-274 (.641). His 489 career win rank 31st among Division I head coaches. 


Most recently, the Rebels snapped a three-game losing streak with a 73-68 victory at Missouri to end the season. 


Junior guard Breein Tyree, who was named first team All-SEC, leads the Rebels and ranks second in the SEC with 18.5 points per game, while senior Terence Davis, a second team All-SEC performer is collecting 15.5 points per contest, which ranks seventh in league play. Tyree (68-of-171) and Davis (60-of-160) rank as the team leaders in threes made and attempted. Davis also tops the squad in rebounds (5.8) and assists (3.4) a game. 


As a team, Ole Miss is outscoring the opposition by 5.4 points per game (76.0-70.6) and owns a +2.3 advantage on the boards (34.5-32.2). The Rebels are shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from beyond the arc while allowing the opposition to shoot 44.2 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three. 


The Ole Miss-Alabama matchup will be the 180th time the two teams have tangled in series history, with the Tide owning a 121-58 lead in the all-time series -- the 121 wins ranking second against any opponent in program history. 


In the only meeting between the two teams this season, Alabama captured a 74-53 win over then-No. 20 Ole Miss back on Jan. 22 inside Coleman Coliseum. It was the Tide's largest margin of victory in SEC play this season and the Rebels' lowest point total of the year. 


Alabama has reached the SEC Tournament semifinals in each of the last two seasons, marking the first time in 22 years -- dating back to the 1994 and 1995 seasons -- that the Tide has accomplished the feat.  


Head coach Avery Johnson has a record of 5-3 in SEC Tournament action, including guiding the Crimson Tide to two wins in the tournament in each of the last two seasons. He has led Alabama to three-straight SEC Tournament quarterfinal appearances and consecutive SEC semifinal showings.



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