Rebels should race past Crimson Tide

Rebels should race past Crimson Tide

In his first go-round in Tuscaloosa, head coach Avery Johnson has restored respectability to the men’s basketball program. But can the Crimson Tide shake off a recent rut in time to topple Ole Miss at 7 p.m. ET?

Johnson’s counterpart, Andy Kennedy, helms the school with the superior Big Dance prospects at present. The Rebels hit the 20-victory mark for the eighth time in 10 years thanks to last Saturday’s 83-60 thrashing of Tennessee. Senior sensation Stefan Moody used that opportunity to draw within eight points of becoming just the fifth Oxford player with 700 in a single campaign.

The oddsmakers at online sports book Bovada.lv list Ole Miss as a 3-point favorite for tonight’s second-round affair in the SEC tournament. After all, the Rebels won four of five to conclude the regular season as Alabama wobbled.

Beyond standout guard Retin Obasohan (17.7 points), the Crimson Tide simply come up short in every conceivable offensive situation. Johnson’s disciples barely hit the 60s against Arkansas and Georgia earlier in the month. Even a much-needed triumph over Auburn on Feb. 27 produced a humdrum 65 points.

The marquee performer on the floor may not quite muster another 43-point effort, a la one week ago vs. Mississippi State. Ole Miss shouldn’t require anything close to a classic Moody showing, though, to turn back Bama in a haphazardly paced game.

THURSDAY NCAA FREE PICK: ALABAMA/OLE MISS OVER 135

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