Time and Date: Tuesday, December 3 @ 7:00 pm ET
Records: Butler (7-0) | Ole Miss (5-2)
Rankings: Butler (#20 KenPom) | Ole Miss (#65 KenPom)
TV Channel: SEC Network
Watch Online: watchESPN
Butler will face its first true road test of the season on Tuesday night, traveling south to face off against the Mississippi Rebels. The Bulldogs come into this one undefeated on the season after winning the Hall of Fame Classic during Feast Week. Meanwhile, Ole Miss is trending in the opposite direction, coming off a 41-point loss to Oklahoma State in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game.
Despite losing star guard Terence Davis this year, the Rebels were projected to have a strong team after qualifying for the NCAA Tournament last March. They won five of their first six, with the loss coming to a ranked Memphis team. In hindsight, though, perhaps there were some indications of trouble. Ole Miss allowed both Norfolk State and Seattle to hang around, failing to blow out either team. Additionally, when the Rebels lost to Memphis, the Tigers were without James Wiseman.
Whatever the case, Ole Miss couldn’t do much of anything right against Oklahoma State. A loss like that can cause even the fiercest competitor’s confidence to waver. Meanwhile, Butler overcame a great deal of adversity in its recent victory over Stanford. The Bulldogs also defeated Ole Miss last year, and just over a week ago, the Bulldogs won comfortably against Mississippi’s SEC rival Missouri.
Though there are many reasons Butler seems to have the edge in this one, road games in college basketball are always a challenge. A Butler team that struggled last year was especially miserable on the road, going 2-9. In fact, the Bulldogs didn’t win a road game last season until January 16. The team has been much more poised so far this year, but will that carry over in a hostile environment?