Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Marshall Henderson scored 21 points as Ole Miss punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament with an upset over the top-seeded Florida Gators in the SEC Tournament championship game on Sunday.
Keep an eye out for Marshall Henderson and the Mississippi Rebels in March Madness, as they punched an auto-bid ticket into the NCAA Tournament by defeating the Florida Gators, 66-63, in the SEC Tournament championship.
At halftime, with Florida leading by 12 and Henderson limited to just three points, it seemed like the Gators had everything wrapped up. Ole Miss and Henderson weren't going to go down so easily, however, as they won their second-ever SEC Tournament and their first since 1981.
Ole Miss started out the half making 8-12 from the floor while the Gators were just 3-12 as Ole Miss took its first lead of the game. Henderson, the SEC's leading scorer and all-around thorn in opponents' sides, also heated up, scoring 18 of his 21 in the second half.
Henderson, who has dragged the Rebels through the SEC Tournament, emphatically answered any questions about whether Ole Miss would make the NCAA tournament, after many of the latest brackets from various experts had the Rebels squarely on the bubble.
Senior guard Mike Rosario led the Gators with 18 but after a hot start, the Gators' shooting cooled in the second half as they shot just 38 percent overall. The Gators got complacent and settled for the long ball too often, shooting 30 three-point attempts compared to just 28 two-point attempts.
Ole Miss has been a second-half team throughout the SEC Tournament, scoring 38 against Vanderbilt and 40 against Missouri. Senior forward Murphy Holloway led the Rebels with 23 points off of 11-14 shooting to go with 10 rebounds, three steals and two big blocks.
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