No. 16 Ole Miss vs. Kentucky preview: Rebels try to stay undefeated in SEC play

Andy Lyons

Ole Miss will try to improve to 7-0 in SEC play as host to Kentucky on Tuesday.

It isn't too often that you find the Kentucky Wildcats casually mentioned as a bubble team, but that is where they stand as they travel to take on the Ole Miss Rebels on Tuesday evening.

For more on the story, visit Red Cup Rebellion and A Sea of Blue

Kentucky, at 4-2 in the SEC, isn't used to looking up at other teams in conference play, but that is exactly where they have found themselves for much of the season.

The talented, but young, Wildcats team has had a rude awakening to conference play, dropping games to the Texas A&M Aggies and Alabama Crimson Tide. They still have the meat of their conference schedule ahead of them, with two games against the Florida Gators and one against the Missouri Tigers.

Meanwhile, the Rebels have rattled off nine straight victories and sit atop the SEC standings tied with the Gators at 6-0. Ole Miss narrowly escaped Auburn in their last game, but other than that the nation's fifth-highest scoring team has been rolling.

Ole Miss normally scores about 80 points per game but, with freshman blocking machine Nerlens Noel patrolling the key it will likely be a bit harder to come by baskets. Noels has a block in every single game and has gone extra swat crazy in the past five, averaging 6.6 blocks a game.

The Wildcats defense, which normally holds opponents to 62 points per game, will have its work cut out for it with the inside-out combo of guard Marshall Henderson and forward Murphy Holloway. Henderson leads the Rebels with 19.2 points per game, much of which comes from the three-point line, where he hits almost four threes a game.

Holloway, the senior forward, averages 14.8 points per game and does a lot of damage on the offensive boards. He leads the SEC in both offensive rebounds and total rebounds, averaging 3.8 offensive and 10.4 total rebounds per game.

When: 9 p.m. ET

Where: C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum

Odds: Ole Miss is favored by 3 points.

TV: ESPN

Streaming: WatchESPN

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