UM

Ole Miss’ Breein Tyree celebrates as he walks off the court after defeating Missouri 73-68 Saturday.

Mississippi State and Ole Miss enter the SEC Tournament off a pair of much-needed wins.

The Bulldogs were blown out at Tennessee 71-54 last Tuesday but were able to close out the regular season with a 92-81 victory at home over Texas A&M on Saturday.

MSU secured the No. 6 seed at the SEC Tournament in Nashville. The Bulldogs will play the Texas A&M-Vanderbilt winner on Thursday night at approximately 8:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Tyson Carter continues to impress in the starter’s role. Carter led State with 14 points at Tennessee and added 18 against Texas A&M and was 8 of 13 from 3-point range.

The Starkville native is averaging 16.1 points over the last seven games since Nick Weatherspoon’s suspension.

In the NET Rankings Watch, the Bulldogs are 21st, up one spot from this time last week.

All three of Mississippi State’s guards are in the starting lineup and the Bulldogs have only been playing a seven-man rotation since Weatherspoon’s suspension. That’s likely going to take a toll on this team’s legs in a tournament setting.

The Rebels went 1-1 last week, losing 80-76 to No. 6 Kentucky then winning on the final day of the regular season 73-68 at Missouri. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had Ole Miss as a 10 seed before the win over Missouri.

The Rebels, the No. 7 seed in this week’s SEC tournament at Nashville, will face No. 10 seed Alabama on Thursday at 6.

NCAA tournament bids are announced Sunday.

Ole Miss is No. 34 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings, up three spots from this time last week.

There’s been a belief around the program that 10 SEC wins was the “magic number” for an NCAA bid for Ole Miss. Nothing is certain before bids are announced, but that appears to be a comfort zone, and the Rebels may find themselves in the NCAAs for the first time since 2015.

nContact Bill Burrus at 581-7237 or bburrus@gwcommonwealth.com.

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