Mississippi vs. Alabama: Place NCAA Basketball Pick on Resilient Rebels

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 3:57 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2015 3:57 PM GMT

As the Ole Miss Rebels visit the Alabama Crimson Tide for this 7:00 ET SEC tilt, we go inside the NCAA Basketball Odds and share our pick for the pointspread winner.

Mississippi vs. Alabama (-2) 7:00 ET SEC TV
Tonight's SEC battle features two programs headed opposite directions.   Ole Miss enters the contest at 19-10 SU, 10-6 SU in SEC play. NCAA Basketball odds favor Alabama by 2 points ATS.  Alabama is 17-12 SU with a record of 7-9 SU in conference play.  

All is not right in Tuscaloosa with the Crimson Tide basketball program.  Sixth year head man, Anthony Grant, guided the Tide to 3 consecutive, 21+ win seasons.  Last year, however, the record sank to 13-19 SU, just 7-11 SU in SEC play.  There was no post-season party for Alabama.  With a sub .500 SEC record this year, the seat is getting very warm under HC Grant.  The Tide was a perennial Defensive Dandy under Grant.  Now, they are allowing 63/41 with a declining offense that is averaging just 67 PPG, only 32% from behind the arc and who dishes out just 10.5 assists per game.  Worse news is that they are without two of their better players.  Ricky Tarrant has been declared out for the season with a foot injury as of February 27th.  Now, word has filtered down that key reserve, Shannon Hale, will also miss the season with a foot injury.  It is worth noting that after the 65-44 season opening conference win against A&M, that Alabama has not defeated another winning conference team since that time.  It is unlikely they get the victory today on a court where they have already lost to Georgia, Vandy and Florida

Ole Miss has had an outstanding season, as those backing them with NCAA Basketball picks can confirm.  But, they enter as a very hungry team, after consecutive losses to Georgia and at LSU have dropped them to 10-6 SU in conference action.  Look for a bounce back from a Rebels team, who is 6-1 SU following their last 7 losses.  The Rebels have also played outstanding ball away from Oxford, where in 14 games, they have gone 10-4 SU, 12-2 ATS.  The reason for outstanding road ability by Ole Miss is the steady coaching of 9th year HC Andy Kennedy, along with outstanding guard play.  The Rebels feature one of the best backcourts in the SEC with upper classmen, Moody and Summers, averaging just shy of 30 PPG.  Without Tarrant in the backcourt for the Tide, the Rebels will own the perimeter play.

Ole Miss has proved their resiliency in bouncing back from the defeat.  Plus, they have been one of the best traveling teams in the country.  No reason that success should not continue against an injured Alabama team, who has failed to post a win vs. quality competition in two months.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Mississippi at Pinnacle

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