The Ole Miss Rebels (15-11, 5-7 SEC) will travel to face Southeastern Conference foe the Tennessee Volunteers (14-13, 6-6 SEC) Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. The tip will take place at 7:05 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on CSS with Matt Stewart and Kyle Macy calling the game.
Tennessee is currently in a three-way tie for fourth place in the SEC standings at 6-6 with Alabama and LSU. Ole Miss is tied with Arkansas for eight place at 5-7. Both teams are coming off Saturday losses. The Volunteers lost 62-50 to Alabama on the road while the Rebels fell to Kentucky 77-62 on the road.
Tennessee's loss broke a 4-game winning streak that had the Volunteers revitalized and tracking for a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament in March. Since Jan. 21 the Volunteers are 6-3 with two wins over ranked opponents, No. 13 Connecticut and No. 8 Florida. Ole Miss hasn't fared as well since Jan. 21. The Rebels are 3-5 and 0-3 against the ranked opponents (Florida, Mississippi State, and Kentucky) they've faced.
Home-court advantage should play a key role in tonight's action. Tennessee is 5-1 at home in conference play this year while Ole Miss is 1-5 on the road. But that's not the only split where an advantage is leaning towards the Volunteers. Tennessee has history on its side, leading the overall series 68-38, and have won the last three in a row.
What to Watch
The battle on the boards will be huge on Wednesday. In conference play Ole Miss ranks first (38.6 rpg) and Tennessee ranks second (35.7 rpg) in rebounding. Whichever team can dominate on the glass should have an upper hand. Junior forward Jeronne Maymon leads the Volunteers with 7.9 rebounds per game while junior forward Reginald Buckner paces the Rebels with 8.1 rebounds per game.
Reginald Buckner has limited in practice with a chronic knee injury. Swelling and pain have kept Buckner off the court at times. If he's unable to play the rebounding advantage shifts to Tennessee and the Rebels will miss their all-time leading shot blocker.
Tennessee has had a new starting lineup in each of its last three home games. Wednesday's game will feature the same lineup as Tennessee's last home game, a Feb. 15 win over Arkansas.
During their four-game winning streak, the Volunteers were solid when it came to scoring in the backcourt. Sophomore Trae Golden, junior Skylar McBee and sophomore Jordan McRae combined to average 40.3 points per game. In their recent loss to Alabama last Saturday those three backcourt companions scored just 18 points.
Tennessee has won 10-straight games at home over Ole Miss, a streak that dates back to 1992.
Ole Miss senior forward Terrance Henry needs 24 points to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for his career. He averages 11.7 points per game.
Tennessee is 10-0 when junior guard Skylar McBee scores 10 or more points.
Ole Miss ranks fourth in the SEC in field-goal percentage allowed at 40.8 percent. When the Rebels hold opponents to under 40 percent shooting their record is 11-3.
Tennessee has outscored 18 of 27 opponents in the paint this season.
Ole Miss may be successful on the glass because of its height advantage. The Rebels rank No. 9 in the country in height with no scholarship players on the roster below 6-foot-4.
Tennessee is outscoring opponents on average by 3.2 points per game. However, at home that average jumps to 10.8.
Ole Miss is allowing opponents 59.1 points per game at home while a whopping 71.5 points per game on the road.
Jordan McRae and Trae Golden are more than just roommates, McRae's success on the court is tied to Golden. Just more than 27 percent of McRae's points this year have come via a Golden assist.
Junior guard Nick Williams leads Ole Miss with 14 games in double figures this year. He's reached double figures in nine of his last 11 games.