Rebels' Meet Next Challenge Sunday

March 17, 2001

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#6 seed Notre Dame (20-9)

vs.

#3 seed Ole Miss (26-7)

NCAA Tournament Second Round
Sunday, March 18, 2001 - approx. 3:50 p.m. (CT) Kemper Arena - Kansas City, Mo.

Rebels on Television and Radio

Television: CBS Sports (Verne Lundquist, play-by-play, Bill Raftery, color analyst, Bob Mansbach, producer)

Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Sean Tuohy, color analyst, Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)

OLE MISS TO MEET NOTRE DAME IN NCAA SECOND ROUND SUNDAY
The Ole Miss Rebels (26-7, 11-5 SEC), the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region, advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round with a thrilling 72-70 victory over Iona in Friday's first round. Ole Miss, ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press poll and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, will meet Notre Dame (20-9, 11-5 Big East) in Sunday's second round at approximately 3:50 p.m. (CT). The contest will be played in Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. The Fighting Irish, the Midwest Region's No. 6 seed, advanced to Sunday's second round with an 83-71 victory over No. 11 seed Xavier. Notre Dame is ranked No. 19 in both polls this week.

BARNES IN THIRD SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR
Rod Barnes is in his third season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. He has an overall record of 65-34 (.657 winning percentage). In his first two seasons, Barnes compiled a 39-27 record, and the 39 victories are the most by a Rebel coach in his first two years in Ole Miss history. Last year, Barnes guided Ole Miss to a 19-14 overall record and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The Rebels advanced to the NIT quarterfinals for the second time in school history. The winning season and postseason tournament both were the fourth straight for the Ole Miss program.

In 1998-99, Barnes led Ole Miss to a 20-13 overall record and a third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Satartia, Miss., native was the first head coach in the history of Rebel basketball to win 20 games in his first season. Barnes also guided the Rebels to a 72-70 win over Villanova in the NCAA Tournament first round, marking the program's first-ever victory in NCAA play.

Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998. A 1988 graduate of Ole Miss, Barnes served as an assistant under Evans from 1993-98. During his time as an assistant coach, the Rebels compiled a record of 76-63 and won back-to-back Southeastern Conference Western Division titles and received consecutive NCAA Tournament berths in 1997 and 1998. Barnes played at Ole Miss from 1984-88 and was named All-SEC his senior season. He still ranks on the Ole Miss career charts in scoring (17th, 1,201 points), assists (2nd, 456) and steals (6th, 154).

OLE MISS-NOTRE DAME SERIES
Sunday's encounter will be the second meeting between the two schools. The Fighting Irish won the previous meeting, a 111-62 victory in the 1977-78 season (Nov. 26, 1977). The game was the season opener for Ole Miss. Notre Dame finished the 1977-78 campaign with a 23-8 record and advanced to the 1978 NCAA Final Four in Saint Louis, Mo.

A BATTLE OF THE WEST CHAMPS
Sunday's match-up between Ole Miss and Notre Dame will be one between conference division champs. The Rebels won the Southeastern Conference Western Division crown with an 11-5 record. The SEC West championship was Ole Miss' third in the last five years. The Fighting Irish also claimed a title, winning the Big East Conference Western Division championship with an 11-5 league mark. The division title was Notre Dame's first in the Big East.

COMMON OPPONENTS
The Rebels and the Fighting Irish have played two common opponents this season in Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Ole Miss posted a 2-1 record versus the common opponents, defeating Vanderbilt (81-68) and splitting games with Kentucky (65-55 win in Oxford, 77-55 loss in SEC Tournament in Nashville).

Notre Dame had a 1-1 record versus the common opponents, defeating Vanderbilt (77-74) and losing to Kentucky (82-71).

REBELS CLAIM SECOND NCAA WIN
With their 72-70 victory over Iona Friday, the Rebels posted their second NCAA Tournament win. Ole Miss now has an overall record of 2-4 in NCAA Tournament play.

DEJA VU FOR OLE MISS
It must have been deja vu for the Rebels in their victory over Iona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday. Ole Miss defeated Iona, 72-70 to record its second NCAA Tournament victory. Two years ago (1999), the Rebels defeated Villanova in the NCAA Tournament first round by a 72-70 score. That win was Ole Miss' first-ever in NCAA Tournament play.

OLE MISS VERSUS THE BIG EAST
The Rebels have an overall record of 3-6 versus members of the Big East Conference. Ole Miss is 1-0 versus Georgetown and Villanova, 1-1 versus Virginia Tech, 0-1 versus Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and St. John's, and 0-2 versus Miami. Ole Miss' last meeting versus a Big East foe came in the 1999 NCAA Tournament, a 72-70 Rebel win over Villanova on Mar. 12, 1999.

HEY, DON'T WE KNOW YOU...PART I
When the Rebels take the floor Sunday versus Notre Dame, the Ole Miss team and fans will see a familiar face cheering for the Fighting Irish. Dr. Kevin White is the Notre Dame Director of Athletics, but two years ago, he was lending his support to the Ole Miss Rebels.

White's son, Michael, was the starting point for the Rebels from 1996-99. Michael helped the Rebels secure their first-ever NCAA Tournament win in 1999 when he dribbled out the final six seconds on the clock without getting fouled in the 72-70 victory over Villanova.

Dr. White was named to his position at Notre Dame on Mar. 13, 2000, Michael finished his first season as an assistant coach on the Jacksonville (Ala.) State University men's basketball staff this year.

HEY, DON'T WE KNOW YOU...PART II
When Ole Miss and Notre Dame meet Sunday, the Rebels will see a somewhat familiar foe wearing the Irish uniform in senior Ryan Humphrey. A 6-foot-8 forward, Humphrey transferred to Notre Dame from Oklahoma following the 1998-99 season. It was during that 1998-99 campaign that the Rebels faced Oklahoma and Humphrey in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic in December. Ole Miss defeated the No. 23-ranked Sooners, 75-72 in the tournament's semifinals. Humphrey had 11 points and four rebounds in 23 minutes of action in that contest.

MANNY'S "DA MAN"
Sophomore Emmanuel Wade (Marianna, Ark.) had a career game for the Rebels in their first-round win over Iona, and it couldn't have come at a better time for Ole Miss. The 6-foot-3 guard netted a career-high tying 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, 3-of-3 from the three-point line and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. He also had four boards, one assist, two blocks and one steal in the Rebels' 72-70 victory.

Wade hit the most crucial shot for the Rebels. With Ole Miss trailing 70-67 with just over two minutes to play, Wade received a pass from Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) and buried a three-pointer to tie the game at 70-all with 1:56 to play.

Wade also came up big on the defensive end, blocking two Iona shots in the final minutes to help preserve the Ole Miss victory.

CLOSE CALLS GOING REBELS' WAY
What a difference a year makes. With their 72-70 win over Iona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Mar. 16, the Rebels now have a 13-3 record in games decided by single digits (nine points or less). Ole Miss' three setbacks by single digits were to Iowa State (73-68), Georgia (70-66) and LSU (78-77, ot). Last season, Ole Miss had a 6-8 record in single-digit contests.

NEXT GAME TIES RECORD
When the Rebels take the floor Sunday versus Notre Dame, they will tie the school record for most games played in a single season with 34. The 1937-38 squad also played 34 games (22-12 record). As for individual players, the record for games played in a season is 33, which is held by seven players in two different seasons. Seven Rebels players on this year's team will break that record Sunday.

REED RECORDS CAREER HIGH
Freshman Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) posted a career-high four blocked shots in the Rebels' NCAA Tournament first-round victory over Iona Friday. His previous career best was three blocks in Ole Miss' victory over Sam Houston State No. 23, 2000. Three of Reed's four blocked shots came in a 47-second span late in the second half to help keep Ole Miss in the lead. For the season, the 6-foot-8 forward has 23 blocks (second on the team).

VERSUS THE RANKED OPPONENTS
The Rebels are 6-3 versus ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 14 Oklahoma (60-55), No. 13 Southern Cal (84-83, ot), No. 10 Tennessee (87-71) and No. 20 Alabama (105-71) and falling to No. 15 Alabama (82-63) and No. 7 Florida (75-55).

In last weekend's SEC Tournament, Ole Miss defeated No. 24 Tennessee (86-73) and No. 5 Florida (74-69), but lost to No. 15 Kentucky (77-55) in the title game.

REBELS ON TELEVISION
Ole Miss will be making its 20th television appearance of the year Sunday when the Rebels meet Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on CBS. In the month of January, Ole Miss appeared before the television cameras five straight games from Jan. 13 through Jan. 31 (Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Arkansas). This season, Ole Miss has a 14-5 record in television games, including the Rebels' 72-70 NCAA Tournament first round win over Iona Mar. 16. The Rebels have appeared on television over 40 times the past four seasons. Last year, Ole Miss had 11 television contests, and posted a 6-5 record in those games.

THE MAGIC NUMBER IS...
Well, for the Rebels, it seems as if that number is 70. Since the 1996-97 season and including this campaign, Ole Miss has an incredible 87-10 record (.897 winning percentage) when it scores 70 points or more. On the other hand, the Rebels are 19-39 when they net less than 70 points during that five-year period (including 2000-01). This season, Ole Miss has a 16-1 record when scoring 70 points or more, with the lone setback a 78-77 overtime loss at LSU Feb. 28.

HARPER ON THE CHARTS
With his two three-pointers in Ole Miss' win over Alabama Mar. 3, freshman Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) pushed his way onto the Rebel single-season chart for treys. The 6-foot-7 guard now has 62 three-pointers, after hitting two treys in the Rebels' win over Iona Friday. The 62 three-pointers are the fourth most by an Ole Miss player in a single season. The record is 78 treys by Joe Harvell in 1992.


 

 

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