NIT run has boosted UM basketball

Published 10:51 am Monday, March 20, 2017

The NIT is a much stronger postseason basketball tournament in recent years since the NCAA took ownership, with a respectable format comprised of teams that could be playing for the national championship in the other tournament.

So let’s not overlook Ole Miss’ success in the first two rounds, reaching the quarterfinals by winning road games against favored teams in difficult environment. Saturday’s thriller over No. 1 seed Syracuse was arguable the best performance by coach Andy Kennedy’s team all season.

Sure, we would love to see Ole Miss in the NCAA. But this Rebel basketball team, emerging with young stars like Breein Tyree and Terence Davis, is just getting started and this NIT run may be the beginning.

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Hosting Georgia Tech of the ACC Tuesday night with a trip to advance to the NIT Final Four in New York on the line, Ole Miss has put itself into position for a rewarding win to this basketball season.

The Pavilion, Ole Miss’ dazzling home arena, provides a nice advantage and should be a nice backdrop as the Rebels try to make it to New York.

It’s not the NCAA Tournament, yet. But this NIT experience has been captivating so far, with momentum to keep going.