Rebels Make NIT As No. 2 Seed, Host Troy Wednesday

OXFORD, Miss. - With a 21-10 overall record and 9-7 mark in league play, the Southeastern Conference Western Division Champion Ole Miss Rebels earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament on Sunday.

Second-seeded Ole Miss will face regular-season Sun Belt Champion and No. 7 seed Troy (20-12) in the opening round Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT at Tad Smith Coliseum.

Tickets for the NIT game will be $10 for adults and $4 for students. For tickets, call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 662-915-7167. There will be general parking with no charge.

"Although we are obviously disappointed in not reaching the NCAA Tournament, we're looking forward to continuing our season on Wednesday against Troy in the NIT," said Rebel head coach Andy Kennedy, who has led Ole Miss to postseason berths in three of the last four seasons.

A victory Wednesday would advance the Rebels to a second-round meeting with the winner between No. 3 seed Memphis and No. 6 St. John's, which would take place in Oxford on either March 19, 20 or 22. The quarterfinals are scheduled for March 23 or 24. The host school for each round is based on the higher seed. The NIT Final Four is March 30 and April 1 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Ole Miss, which has put together 20-win campaigns in three of the last four years, is back in postseason play for the 15th time in the program's history and the third time in the last four seasons. Kennedy is the second head coach in school history to guide the Rebels to 20-win seasons in three of his first four years and to postseason berths in at least three of his first four seasons.

The Rebels are playing in their ninth NIT and third in the last four years. Their last berth in 2008 resulted in their first ever appearance in the NIT Semifinals held at Madison Square Garden. Kennedy's squad beat UC Santa Barbara, Nebraska and a No. 1 seed Virginia Tech en route to a matchup with Ohio State in New York. The Rebels have also reached the quarterfinals two other times, in 2000 and 1983.

Ole Miss has a 10-8 all-time record in the NIT. The Rebels have an 8-1 record in home games in the tourney and have won seven straight contests in Oxford dating back to the 1983 NIT.  The lone loss in an NIT home game was a 61-59 defeat to Virginia Tech in the 1982 second round.

The Rebels have an overall postseason record of 13-14 in program history with eight trips to the NIT (1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 2000, 2007, 2008) and six to the NCAA Tournament (1981, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002). The Rebels' best postseason result came in the 2001 NCAA Tournament when the team reached the Sweet Sixteen before falling to eventual national champion Arizona.

Ole Miss made its first postseason appearance in 1980, reaching the NIT second round. That season began a string of four straight years with postseason play, including the program's first NCAA berth in 1981.


 

 

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