Thursday, February 22, 2007
At the risk of sounding just a wee bit prejudiced, I have to do a little chest thumping and send some kudos to my Rebels down the road. All of us have heard it said that adversity brings out the best in us. Well, Ole Miss has wrung the full measure out of that old adage.
At the beginning of this basketball season at the collegiate level, every poll of note picked the Rebels to finish dead last. Not just in their Western Division of the SEC, but in the league, period.
Now the Western Division has a trio of co-leaders with a fourth nipping at their sneakered heels. The Rebels had been sole possessors of the division until Saturday when they met the Razorbacks in Fayetteville. Everybody was expecting a good game. You do take a team into Bud Walton Arena expecting a social. However, I don’t think anyone anticipated a blowout.
Take heart, Ole Miss Alum chums. The Rebels are going to be all right. They still have four regular games before the Madness of March sets in.
There was another close to blowout game in the SEC without the looming implications of the Ole Miss-Arkansas one. The Gamecocks and the Vols, both near the bottom of the food chain this season, were playing for a little prestige, the Gamecocks needing to put the brakes on a downward spiral and the Vols just needing to live up to tradition. You all know the outcome which had Vols’ coach Bruce Pearl scratching his noggin. He probably didn’t count on an 81-64 score, either.
The biggest upset, though not a blowout, was the manner in which Vanderbilt demoralized Florida. They stopped the longest current winning streak in the NCAA (Memphis now has that distinction, after their defeat of Gonzaga), and ruined the Gators’ perfect mark in the SEC. The upset was almost as big as Frank Broyles stepping down as the “Mr. Everything” in Razorback athletics. He is going to be hard to replace.
We are fast tumbling into March Madness and now just might be a good time to consider drafting a petition to get the University of Memphis transferred to the SEC. Aw, come on, you all know that Coach Cal would fit right in.
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