Read this (Feb 23)

Ole Miss can still hit the cover off the baseball. Home runs by Grae Kessinger and Cole Zabowski led the Rebels to a 6-4 win over Tulane on Friday night.

  • All-American closer Parker Caracci picked up his first save of the season.
  • Six different Rebels have homers in just four games.
  • Ole Miss improved to 3-1 after handing the Green Wave (5-1) its first loss. Game 2 is Saturday at 1pm.
  • Zack Phillips did a little better this time, allowing four runs over 4.1 innings. The Ole Miss bullpen locked it down after that.

8:30 am: Ole Miss Basketball tips off against Georgia at 2:30pm (SEC Network). The Rebs are favored and they just need to take care of business. The Bulldogs (10-16, 1-12 SEC) own just one conference win on the season. A loss would be nothing short of a big fat black eye, while a win pushes Ole Miss to 19-8 and close to that always important 20-win mark with four more games to go.

8:34 am: Breein Tyree scored 31 points when Ole Miss beat Georgia in Athens two weeks ago. At 35.0 ppg, Tyree and Terence Davis continue to be the highest scoring duo in the SEC.

8:41 am: Ole Miss shot just 21 percent from 3-point range in a 79-64 loss at South Carolina on Tuesday. Tyree and Davis were a combined 2-for-12 behind the arc. The Rebels need to get that straightened out today.

8:46 am: The Rebels are projected as a 7 (CBS) , 8 (ESPN) and 9 (Katz) seed in the three major NCAA Tournament bracket predictions. A loss to Georgia would do damage.

8:48 am: Ole Miss hasn’t swept Georgia in a season series since 1989.

8:55 am: Chase Parham offers some good analysis on Zack Phillips’ progression through two starts, including his 4.1 inning effort last night. He’s got to get better.

12:15 pm: Here’s the stats link for the Ole Miss-Georgia game.

1:38 pm: LSU vs Tennessee was a great game. LSU won in overtime 82-80, but it could have gone either way. I could see both teams going far in the NCAA Tournament. The SEC is so stacked. The Vols, Tigers and Kentucky are really elevating the conference right now.

Read this (Feb 22)

7:30 am: This story on the long road that led Trent Dilfer from the NFL and ESPN to becoming a high school football coach in Nashville is really well written. LINK

10:03 am: As we watch the rain come down and the flood waters rise in Mississippi and where I sit in Nashville, it looks like the Rebels (2-1) and Tulane (5-0) have a decent forecast down in New Orleans tonight. With Will Ethridge recovering from a blister on his throwing hand, Zack Phillips gets the starting nod and a chance to redeem himself after getting hammered by Wright State last weekend. Maybe/hopefully it was just a case of the first-game jitters for the JUCO transfer. In any event, Ole Miss is gonna need that 13.50 ERA to come down quite a bit for Phillips to maintain his spot in the weekend rotation.

Meanwhile, Thomas Dillard is off to a hot start. A really hot start.

The Friday night game starts at 6:30.

10:11 am: Joe Lunardi continues to project Ole Miss as an 8-seed in the South Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The Rebels are 18-8 (8-5 SEC). A win against Georgia (10-16, 1-12) on Saturday feels critical. Ole Miss has avoided “bad losses” this season, and without looking at the NET, it’s probably a safe bet that the Bulldogs would be a stinker.

10:49 am: DK Metcalf and AJ Brown are going to be the most heavily discussed receivers leading up to draft day, mainly because they are so physically dominant.

I can’t.

11:27 am: Thomas Dillard is batting .700 through three games. That’s 7 hits in 10 at-bats with 2 HR’s, a double, a triple and 5 RBI. He’s also been walked 4 times. I mean, I know those stats aren’t sustainable, but I’m looking forward to finding out if Dillard can keep it going this weekend.

 

Rebs make things harder on themselves with loss to South Carolina

A Boeing 787 airliner reached the amazing speed of 801 mph on Monday evening thanks to 200 mph tailwind. As one fascinated by airplanes, I wish I’d seen the Virgin Atlantic flight skidding across the night sky.

A tailwind makes everything easier.

If Ole Miss had beaten South Carolina on Tuesday night, those 19 wins would have had a powerful tailwind blowing the Rebels into the NCAA Tournament. With three of the final five games (UGA, Arkansas, Mizzou) being quite winnable, Ole Miss would have been playing with house money against Tennessee and Kentucky.

Instead, a 79-64 loss to the Gamecocks makes every game of the final stretch a little more critical.

Ole Miss should still be projected as an NCAA Tournament team when the brackets get updated later this week, but now, by my estimation, the Rebels need those wins against UGA, Mizzou and Arkansas just a little bit more.

A win over Tennessee or Kentucky will probably seal the deal, regardless of what happens in those games.

Ole Miss gets that Georgia W

Does Ole Miss have its groove back?

Ole Miss beat Georgia 80-64, and enjoyed a big lead for the entire second half. It was a welcome change of pace from recent play.

Georgia isn’t very good, but it doesn’t matter. Ole Miss needed a game that would let it feel good about itself again.

This game did that.

Breein Tyree scored 31 points.

Bruce Stevens redeemed himself with 8 rebounds.

The Rebels got to experience a pull-away victory on the road.

It was just what the doctor ordered for a team that has been ailing.

Now the Rebels have that winning feeling again, two straight victories, and a 16-7 (6-4 SEC) record.

Ole Miss is still in striking distance of March Madness, and maybe just maybe we’re turning a corner here.

The Rebs visit Auburn on Wednesday.

Must win in Athens

Ole Miss (15-7, 5-4 SEC) plays at Georgia on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 10-12 (1-8 SEC) and losers of seven straight SEC games (yet somehow they beat Texas on Jan. 26).

Georgia doesn’t even play close, losing by an average margin of 16.5 points per game.

The Rebels, which have been teetering on the verge of collapse since a January 15 loss to LSU, losing five of their last seven, nearly lost to Texas A&M (another 1-8 SEC team) on Wednesday, but they didn’t. They won.

Ole Miss’ NCAA Tournament chances are still living off that 10-game winning streak and wins over Auburn and Mississippi State in early January.

Joe Lunardi has the Rebels as an 8 seed.

Ole Miss is still in this thing, but a loss to Georgia would probably be catastrophic.

Ole Miss just has to win in Athens.

 

Ole Miss goes from hot to not

In losing to Florida, Ole Miss has gone from a 10-game winning streak to losing 4 of its last 5.

I wish I had something reassuring to say here. That would mean that I, too, was reassured. But it’s hard to find reassurance in anything when four of the last five games were losses. That 10-game winning streak might as well have been five years ago.

The Rebels are in a nosedive and it’s up to Kermit Davis, Terence Davis and Breein Tyree to figure out a way to pull them out of it.

The altitude of this season is getting dangerously low.

State visits Oxford Saturday. It’s time to pull up or perish.

Godspeed, Rebels. Godspeed.

RECAP

Bilas has Rebels in his field of 68

College Basketball expert Jay Bilas ranked teams 1-68, and Ole Miss is in the mix.

I know none of this really matters. With 12 SEC games remaining, the Rebels still have plenty of chances to play themselves in or out of the Tournament. But perception does matter. There have been years when Ole Miss was perceived as not worthy and when Selection Sunday rolled around, the Rebels found themselves on the wrong side of the bubble.

Thus, what people think today does matter somewhat. Ole Miss is viewed as a Tournament team right now. That perception could help if the Rebels start to play their way down close to the bubble, which could happen over the course of a rigorous SEC schedule.

LINK

Pomeranz gets 1-year deal with Giants

Former Ole Miss pitcher Drew Pomeranz, who is trying to get back to the form and health that helped him to 17 wins for the Boston Red Sox two seasons ago, just got a 1-year deal with the San Francisco Giants. It’s hard to believe, but Pomeranz is 30 years old already. It seems like just yesterday that I was watching him pitch for the Red & Blue.  LINK

Ole Miss still has an outside shot at getting Jerrion Ealy (I’ll believe it when I see it).

Ball control an issue for Ole Miss in losses

Check out this very sharp Ole Miss duffle bag