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Ole Miss, Marshall Henderson in trouble
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 21, 2013 @ 9:00 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Patrick Stevens, Special for USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t even a month ago when Mississippi was 17-2, unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference and clearly in line for its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002.
Oh, and Marshall Henderson was emerging as a folk hero of sorts for his high-scoring performances and emotional reactions to them — notably his taunting of less-than-amused Auburn fans after a Jan. 26 victory.
It was arguably the peak of Henderson’s legend, and it surely was high tide for the Rebels, who have since dropped five of seven and tumbled out of the current projected bracket.
The latest loss was Mississippi’s most crushing, a 63-62 loss at South Carolina. And while the Rebels do own a victory over Missouri, there aren’t many opportunities to effectively complement their slim resume throughout the rest of the regular season.
The Rebels will face Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama at home, with trips to Mississippi State and Louisiana State still to come as well. There are no top-50 teams in that bunch (though Alabama has a chance to eventually get there), and both Auburn and Mississippi State would inflict substantial damage to Mississippi’s NCAA hopes.
That, in effect, would be a rerun of Wednesday, when Ole Miss held a 62-56 lead with 5:04 to go before not scoring the rest of the way against the Gamecocks, who entered the night on a six-game losing streak while nursing an RPI above 200.
While the Rebels are reeling, one of the big bubble winners Wednesday was Iowa State. The Cyclones’ seven best victories (as well as 10 of their top 11) were secured at home before an 87-82 victory at Baylor to complete a seasons sweep of the Bears.
Iowa State still has work to do in the next three and a half weeks, but it no longer boasts Texas Christian as its best road triumph. That constitutes progress for the Cyclones, who would still be well-served to win at least once more away from Ames before the regular season is through.
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