The sun is shining on the Ole Miss Rebels after they shocked all six viewers of the First Four matchup on TruTV Tuesday night with a 94-90 victory over BYU. After erasing a 17-point deficit against the Cougars have pushed the Rebels to a slight 3-point underdog against the 6th-seeded Xavier Musketeers.
Rebels coach Andy Kennedy plans to get his team a little extra rest before their afternoon tip-off.
“We had to expend so much energy in order to come back,” Kennedy said. “So we want to make sure our guys are rested physically because we know the challenge Xavier is going to present.”
Matchup: (11) Ole Miss Rebels vs (6) Xavier Musketeers
Date: Mar. 19, 2015
Start Time: 4:10 p.m. ET
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Stadium: Veterans Memorial Arena
TV Info: TBS
Stream: March Madness Live
Radio: Ole Miss Vs Xavier
Point Spread: Xavier -3
Game Total: 144.5
Ole Miss Will Cover the 3-point Spread If
Ole Miss starts off strong on defense.
At half time of Tuesday night’s game between Ole Miss and BYU, most basketball handicappers had to be thinking that BYU was going to simply extend its 17 point lead and roll into the Round of 64. The Cougars had outscored the Rebels 49 to 32.
But there was no quit in Ole Miss. The Rebels turned the tables on high-scoring BYU and pummeled the Cougars in the second half to the tune of 62 to 41. Ole Miss simply outfought BYU in the second half. They won the game 94 to 90. Xavier is a different team, though. The Musketeers play much tougher defense and don’t push the pace the way that BYU does.
For Ole Miss to have any shot against Xavier, they’re going to have to be much better on defense than they were versus the Cougars. The second half was brilliant, but if they get down by 17 versus a team that doesn’t push in transition very often, a comeback and victory against the spread won’t happen.
— Austin Miller (@austinkmiller) March 19, 2015
Ole Miss Rebels March Madness Starting lineup
- G Stefan Moody, 5-10, Jr., 16.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg
- G Jarvis Summers, 6-3, Sr., 12.4 ppg, 4.8 apg
- G Martavious Newby, 6-3, Jr., 3.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg
- F Sebastian Saiz, 6-9, So., 7.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg
- F M.J. Rhett, 6-9, Sr., 7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg
- Coach: Andy Kennedy (ninth season)
Xavier Will Cover the 3-point Spread If
The Musketeers play the way that they did in the Big East Tournament.
Villanova beat Xavier 69 to 52 in the Big East Tournament. ‘Nova is the overall second ranked team going into the Round of 64 after Kentucky. The Wildcats were just better than Xavier on that day and they showed it.
But, the Musketeers shouldn’t change the philosophy that they showed in the Big East Tournament when they face Ole Miss on Thursday. During the regular season, Xavier averaged 73.6 points off of 47.3% shooting from the field. They shot close to 35% from the three-point line. In the Big East Tournament, Xavier beat Butler 67 to 61 in overtime. They beat Georgetown, another high scoring regular season team, 65 to 63. Xavier shouldn’t try and run with Ole Miss. The Rebels showed BYU what will happen when their defense is working. Xavier needs to slow the game down in order to cover the spread versus the Rebels.
Updated March wins at MSG: Villanova – 3 Xavier – 2 The Knicks – 1 Grigor Dimitrov – 1 Gabriela Sabatini – 1 Roger Federer – 0
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 18, 2015
Xavier Musketeers March Madness Starting Lineup
- G Remy Abell, 6-4, Jr., 8.6 ppg, 2 rpg
- G Dee Davis, 6-0, Sr., 8.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 6.1 apg
- F Trevon Bluiett, 6-6, Fr., 11.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg
- F James Farr, 6-9, Jr.,4.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg
- C Matt Stainbrook, 6-10, Sr., 12 ppg, 6.8 rpg
- Coach: Chris Mack (sixth season)