Southeastern Conference fans are used to winning; look no further than the last seven BCS champions in football and last years NCAA Basketball top dog Kentucky for proof.
Outside of the Florida Gators, and at times the Missouri Tigers, the 2012-13 SEC Basketball season has been a frustrating few months.
Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson took out some of that frustration Wednesday on a door in the bowels of Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. after South Carolina upset Henderson's Rebels, and put them in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament.
The Rebels blew a six-point lead in the final 3:39 of play to drop an SEC match up to the two-win Gamecocks. Now South Carolina has three conference wins and Ole Miss has an uphill battle to fight.
The Ole Miss choke job Wednesday shouldn't come as a shock. Just four days earlier the Rebels needed Henderson's magic to rescue the team from a loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. Just under two months ago, Ole Miss started the SEC slate off with six-straight wins. Now the Rebels have lost five of their last seven.
Choking is becoming the in thing for Ole Miss.
How much does Wednesdays loss to a South Carolina team with an RPI of 196 hurt Ole Miss? Prior to Wednesday, Ole Miss worst loss was to Texas A&M, with an RPI of 73. Now Ole Miss sits with its own RPI at 57 and stares at a 1-4 record against team in the RPI top 50 and has this festering blemish on its resume.
Ole Miss doesn't have a lot of time to fix its issues. With five games left on its regular-season schedule only two against teams in the RPI top 75running the table seems like the only way to have a shot at making the Tournament. Then again, the Rebels can win the SEC Tournament and all this talk would be laid to rest.
But as it stands right now, how many SEC teams (without considering the SEC's automatic bid for its conference tournament winner) would make it into the field of 68?
No Doubt Florida Gators & Missouri Tigers
There are only two teams in without any shadow out a doubt: Florida and Missouri.
Florida may have lost its No. 1 seed with Tuesdays loss to Missouri, but on the flip side of that coin, Missouri locked down a tournament bid by knocking off the Gators.
No matter where they'll be seeded, both teams are locks.
The Bubble Kentucky Wildcats, Ole Miss Rebels, Alabama Crimson Tide & Arkansas Razorbacks
Kentucky may be in deep trouble, and it has nothing to do with losing Nerlens Noel.
The Wildcats biggest win to date is a Jan. 29 13-point win over Ole Miss, who was then the 23rd-ranked team in the country. Since, Ole Miss has fallen off which greatly weakens Kentucky's best resume builder. Its not going to help that Kentucky is 0-5 against teams in the RPI top 50.
In addition to the horrid losing streak (2-5 since Jan. 29) Ole Miss is mired in right now, the Rebels have just five road wins this year and only three of those have come in the SEC.
Alabama is sitting in second place in the SEC standings and has an RPI of 59. But there's still work to do.
The Crimson Tide has some nice wins against Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky (Alabama's sole win over a top 50 RPI team), but their chances of tournament entry with an at-large bid are based solely on their March 2 trip to the O'Connell Center to face Florida. If Alabama beats Florida on the road in two weeks, and avoids a hiccup along the way, they'll be dancing.
Arkansas is in a similar boat to Alabama but still might not have enough of a resume to get into the NCAA Tournament.
The Razorbacks Feb. 5 win over then-No. 2 Florida looks wonderful, but a 1-6 road record hurts terribly. Arkansas has a huge game Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. against the Gators. The Razorbacks must win Saturday and beat Kentucky at home on March 2 to stand at chance at an at-large bid.
As of right now, the SEC will only qualify two teams into the NCAA Tournament is either Florida or Missouri wins the SEC Tournament. The best shot for an at-large berth lie with Alabama, but they have to take it from Florida.
Kentucky and Ole Miss could possibly make it in without winning the SEC Tournament, but it would likely take running the table and its only blemish coming in the SEC Tournament championship game.
Arkansas has a good shot at getting in by beating Florida and Kentucky in the final regular-season stretch and making a deep run in the SEC Tournament. But that's a tall task.