#2 Tennessee (18-13, 10-6) vs. #7 Ole Miss (19-12, 8-8)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. EST; New Orleans, LA

TV: SEC Network

Tennessee will face the Ole Miss Rebels in a SEC Quarterfinal Matchup at the New Orleans Arena on Friday evening.  Tennessee defeated the Rebels 73-60 back on February 22nd in Knoxville.  That matchup saw the Vols fall behind by as many as 13 points early in the first half.  But the Vols, as they’ve done most of the season, fought back for a 13 point victory.  Jeronne Maymom led the Vols with 18 points and 11 rebounds while UT killed Ole Miss on the glass 40-25.  Terrance Henry had 15 points to lead the way for Ole Miss.

This would be a huge win for the Vols as they try to continue to push their way in to the NCAA Tournament.  Ole Miss enters with a RPI of 59 and a win would surely push the Vols RPI up from its current position of 76.

A key to this game will once again be the Vols ability to out-rebound Ole Miss and really hold the Rebels in check on the offensive end.  The Rebels shot 45% against UT back in February, so the Vols will need to do a better job of holding the Rebels in check.  If the Vols can get Maymon and Stokes involved early and make a few outside shots when the Rebels collapse on the post, the Vols should be in good shape.

I look for the Vols to win this matchup.  It will be a back and forth game, but the Vols will pull away late for a 71-60 victory.