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After Ole Miss was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament by Arkansas last Friday night, there was some uncertainty regarding the Rebels’ postseason play.
Following the close 73-72 loss to the Razorbacks, Andy Kennedy sat at the podium – while looking at the final stats sheet – and expressed hope that seniors Sebastian Saiz and Rasheed Brooks would have the opportunity to continue their collegiate careers with postseason action.
“I feel pretty confident, just based on how the numbers look, from an RPI standpoint,” Kennedy said Friday about the Rebels’ chances of making a postseason tournament. “I think we’re going to have that opportunity. I think this team deserves that.”
Kennedy was correct, and on Sunday Ole Miss (20-13) received news that the Rebels will play in the NIT as a No. 5 seed against No. 4 seed Monmouth of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on Tuesday night (6 p.m., ESPN3) in West Long Branch, New Jersey inside OceanFirst Bank Center.
This season marks the ninth time in Kennedy’s eleven years at Ole Miss that the Rebels have won at least 20 games. Tuesday’s game against the Hawks will be the first-ever meeting between the Rebels and the Hawks. The winner will play the victor of No. 1 Syracuse and No. 8 UNC-Greensboro.
The Rebels are making their 12th overall NIT appearance and sixth under Kennedy. Ole Miss has a 13-11 record all-time in the NIT, including a 7-5 mark under Kennedy. The Rebels have advanced to two NIT Final Fours – 2008 and 2010 – under Kennedy.
(Feature image credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.