Ole Miss to play South Carolina in first round of SEC hoops tourney

Published 3:00 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

Ole Miss basketball will face off against South Carolina in the first round of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday as they continue to try to pick up the pieces of their season following the firing of head coach Kermit Davis.

The Rebels (11-20, 3-15 SEC) enter the conference tournament as losers in 17 of their last 20 games after starting the season with a perfect 7-0 record.

Their 78-74 road loss to Auburn on Feb. 22 ultimately led to Davis’s firing after five seasons at the helm, over which he amassed a 74-79 record.

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In his stead, interim head coach Win Case will lead the Rebels in the postseason as they attempt to build a foundation to work upon next season.

Case coached the final three games of the regular season for Ole Miss under the interim tag, leading them to a win over LSU at home on Feb. 25 before suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 25 Missouri.

They will now match up with a South Carolina team that secured key wins over Ole Miss, LSU and Georgia in the past month to secure the No. 12 seed in the conference tournament.

The two teams split the season series this year, with Ole Miss coming away with a 70-58 victory on the road in January before losing in a 64-61 defeat at home.

The Rebels went 10-of-24 from beyond the arc in their victory over the Gamecocks as they spread the floor with shooters and allowed guard Matthew Murrell to work high screen-and-roll opportunities at the top of the key.

The junior poured in 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting in the game, sinking five of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc and racking up nine rebounds and three assists.

Ole Miss will need another big performance from their star on Wednesday as they attempt to secure their first victory in the conference tournament since 2017.

The Rebels take on the Gamecocks at 6 p.m. for the right to take on Tennessee in the second round. The game will be available on the SEC Network and SECN+.