Both the Rebels and the Gators won their match-ups today, keeping the SEC in the NCAA Tournament for another round.
Ole Miss 57, Wisconsin 46
The 12th-seeded Rebels won their first tournament game in over a decade today, and they did by upsetting the Badgers, a five-seed.
The first half saw the score stay pretty close, as the teams alternated between swapping leads and tying things up. Wisconsin clung to a slim lead for the final four and a half minutes, and took a 25-22 score into the locker room.
They never led by more than six points in the second half, and with eight and a half minutes left, the Rebs were back on top. Ole Miss didn’t relinquish their lead for the rest of the game, and instead pulled away as time wound down.
Marshall Henderson had a cold first half, but came alive in the second, which certainly helped the Rebels’ cause. The Badgers didn’t do themselves any favors, though, as they allowed the Rebels to go on a 7-0 run in the final two minutes.
Sam Dekker led Wisconsin with 14 points, three rebounds, and a steal. Murphy Holloway had 10 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block to lead Ole Miss. The Rebs outshot the Badgers 38.6 percent to 25.4 percent and outrebounded them 40-38.
Ole Miss is now 27-8 overall and they went 12-6 in conference play. Wisconsin finishes at 23-12 overall and 12-6 in the Big Ten. The Rebels will play another team that pulled off an upset victory, LaSalle, on Sunday at 7:40 ET. The game will be shown on TruTv.
Florida 79, Northwestern State 47
Unlike some other highly-seeded teams (looking at you, Georgetown), the Gators, a three-seed easily beat their lower-seeded opponent, the 14th-seeded Demons.
UF held the lead for the entire first half, save for a momentary tie, but Northwestern State was never too far behind, as they trailed by no more than eight points. They went into the locker room down 40-32, but they couldn’t do enough in the second half to catch up.
The Demons went scoreless for three minutes early in the half, and with just over 14 minutes remaining, they were down by double digits. The Gators led by as many as 32 points, and they went on a 9-0 run in the final four and a half minutes. Northwestern State didn’t even score half as many points in the second half as they did in the first, and the Demons spent the bulk of the period looking overmatched.
DeQuan Hicks led Northwestern State with 12 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Erik Murphy had 18 points, eight rebounds, an assist, and two steals to lead UF. The Gators outshot the Demons 47.5 percent to 36 percent and outrebounded them by almost double, 40-21.
Florida is now 27-7 overall and they went 14-4 in conference play. Northwestern State finishes 23-9 overall and 15-3 in the Southland. The Gators will take on Minnesota on Sunday at 6:10 ET. The game will be shown on TNT.