Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament last year, as the Commodores went on to be the eventual tournament championship. The loss doomed Ole Miss to a NIT invitation.
Ole Miss is trying to play its way into the tournament, according to the latest bracket from SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean. Unfortunately, the 10th-seeded Commodores upset the second-seeded Wildcats 64-48 on Friday, taking away a more marquee opponent for Ole Miss to pad their resume with.
The game still has equal importance for the Rebels. A loss, regardless of opponent, would most likely leave Ole Miss on the outside looking in. A loss to Vanderbilt would only guarantee that.
Luckily for the Rebels, junior guard Marshall Henderson is coming off a hot game against the Missouri Tigers, where he scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half in a 64-62 quarterfinals win on Friday. Henderson, the leading scorer in the SEC, wasn't even the hero in the game as Derrick Millinghaus scored with 1.1 seconds left to give the Rebels the win.
The Rebels needed overtime to defeat Vanderbilt earlier in the year, winning 89-79 on Jan. 15. Henderson once again was the hero in that game, hitting a desperation shot at the buzzer that forced overtime.
The winner of the game will go on to face the winner between Alabama and Florida in the SEC tournament championship game on Sunday. Vanderbilt and Ole Miss tip off at 3 p.m. ET.