The Vanderbilt Commodores’ unlikely run through the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament was derailed by Marshall Henderson and the Rebels on Saturday afternoon. Vanderbilt led 34-30 at 15:14 of the second half when Ole Miss began to impose it will. The Rebels went on a 19-4 run over the next eight minutes to take a commanding lead.
Ole Miss (25-8) got 23 points from its flashy junior guard and moved into Sunday’s championship game with a 64-52 semifinal win over the 10th-seeded Commodores in today’s SEC semifinal.
The Rebels moved closer to ending the longest drought in the SEC with an NCAA Tournament berth. It last made the field in 2002. They;re still hurt by a weak schedule that saw them play 13 games against teams outside of the RPI Top 200, with two late losses against that group.
A win over the Florida Gators (26-6) tomorrow will get them the most security with an automatic bid. Florida won their lone meeting this season, 78-64, on February 2nd in Gainesville.The Gators has to rally today to overcome Alabama, and end the Crimson Tide’s NCAA tournament dreams.