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Rebel basketball in a must-win situation

With a dozen regular season games left this season it’s hard to imagine we’ve already arrived at must-wins for the Ole Miss basketball team but that’s how this year has shaped up.

After too many non-conference game losses, including three straight at home, Andy Kennedy’s Rebels host Alabama tonight at The Pavilion in a key contest. The reason is simple: Ole Miss has nine losses and if they have any hopes at a postseason run (beyond winning the SEC Tournament in March) they would need a significant winning streak to end the year.

To win eight or nine games out of the next 12 that means a win at home against Alabama tonight is a must.

The Crimson Tide are good, so winning won’t be easy. But, the Rebels have played well at home in the SEC so far this year, with three consecutive wins. So, it’s doable.

To say it has been a frustrating year for Kennedy’s Rebels is an understatement. In some respects, the team is improved. They have more talent, certainly. But they just can’t seem to win a lot of close games and the losses keep adding up.

That’s the difference in a team worthy of the NCAA Tournament and a team that’s merely middle-of-the-road competitive.