South Carolina vs. Ole Miss
Date: Wednesday, March 8th
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, TN
The Gamecocks are looking to being their SEC Tournament journey with a win over the #13 seed Ole Miss Rebels. These two squads split their meetings in the regular season, so this one is for all the marbles.
The Gamecocks finished the regular season at just 11-20, with a displeasuring record of 4-14 in conference play. This landed them the #12 seed in SEC Tournament, a slight downgrade from their #9 seeding last season.
Both times that these teams faced off in the regular season, the Gamecocks were able to contain Matthew Murrell well, leading to a Gamecock victory in their last matchup. Containing Murrell will be key in the opening game of the tournament, as he leads the Rebels in scoring by a large margin with 15 points a night. To go along with that, Murrell tends to get sloppy whenever he isn’t having the best night, which can and will cost his team.
Jaemyn Brakefield is another player to look out for on the Rebels. While Brakefield may not shock you with his offensive abilities, the defensive side is where Brakefield make his bank. The last time these two teams matchup Brakefield tormented the South Carolina offense, swiping four steals. The Gamecocks can’t let Brakefield get into their head if they want to move on in the tournament.
Towards the end of the regular season, Jacobi Wright showed that he can truly be a key part of the Gamecock offense. Over the last ten games of the season, Wright put up 10.5 points per game on close to 41% shooting, which is a huge improvement from his dreadful start to the season. If the Fort Mill native is able to catch fire tonight, it could lead to another Gamecocks victory over Ole Miss.
GG Jackson must show up for this game. This is the biggest game of Jackson’s young athletic career, and he cannot disappoint. Coming off of an SEC All-Freshman Team selection, we all know Jackson is feeling very good right about now. Jackson needs to transfer that onto the court, as his performance and attitude seem to dictate the overall play of the team. Jackson finished the season averaging a team high of 15.1 points per game, and that’s right around what we will need to see if South Carolina wants to advance to the next round.
KenPom is giving the Gamecocks a 31% chance to advance in the SEC Tournament over Ole Miss with a score prediction of South Carolina 65, Ole Miss 70
My Prediction: South Carolina 77, Ole Miss 73