Congratulations to the Ole Miss Rebels on winning only their second SEC Tournament Championship (1981) and to Murphy Holloway for earning Player of the Game Honors.
The SEC Tournament saved the best game for last. The hard fought battle down in Nashville between the Rebels and Gators should be an “Instant Classic” and I cannot believe I just said that. Florida has been the most consistent team in the SEC, staying atop the WBN Power Rankings all season, where Ole Miss has been bandied about like a ship without a sail. Both teams live and die by the three pointer based on their offensive scheme but in part because their front court has been incredibly inconsistent. That proved to be Florida’s undoing. Well, that coupled with having no answer for Murphy Holloway’s dominant post play (11-14, 23 points and 10 rebounds) or Marshall Henderson playing with a moderately “controlled chaos” (6-14, 23 points), and poor FT shooting (8-17).
In a tale of two halves, Florida’s Mike Rosario led them in the First Half with his hot 3-point shooting and a 12 point halftime lead, 38-26. Kenny Boynton played a decently in the First Half but he wasn’t able to build off his Second Half against Alabama where he scored all 16 of his points. Unfortunately for the Gators, he didn’t see a 3-pointer he didn’t like, helping Florida finish the game having shot more 3-pointers (31) than 2-pointers (28) and since they only hit 11 of them, it was impossible to overcome. Patric Young finished with 3 points and 4 rebounds playing with no heart or passion. A disappearing act that Kentucky fans grew accustomed to this season.
As a result of Ole Miss’s power post game and Florida’s poor shot selection, defensive softness and general lack of passion, the Ole Miss Rebels celebrated their first SEC Championship since 1981 and will be dancing for the first time in Andy Kennedy’s tenure as their Head Coach.