The top-seeded Syracuse Orange will play host to the No. 5 seeded Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
Ole Miss (21-13 overall, 10-8 SEC) went on the road and upset No. 4 Monmouth on Tuesday, 91-83. In that game, the Rebels were led by senior forward Sebastian Saiz, who scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
The Rebels have three players that average over 35 percent from 3-point range, and shoot 34.7 percent as a team from behind the arc.
The 3-ball isn’t the Rebels’ strength, but rebounding is. Ole Miss averages 40 boards per game, and made more free throws than any other team in D-I (678). Scoring also doesn’t come difficult for Ole Miss, as they’re averaging over 81 points per game over their last 10 games.
Syracuse, on the other hand, came out firing from 3-point range on Wednesday — especially Andrew White. The graduate transfer set the record for most 3-pointers made in a single-season, passing Gerry McNamara’s previous record of 107.
White had a game-high 34 points, while Tyus Battle added 20 of his own. Although Tyler Lydon remained hesitate to shoot, he still finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
As long as the Orange keeps up their impressive pace that they used against UNC-Greensboro on Wednesday, Syracuse should move past the Rebels.
Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss’ head coach, is 1-2 in his career against Syracuse and Jim Boeheim. All three games were played in his one season with Cincinnati.
This will be the first time Ole Miss plays a basketball game in New York that isn’t in the Big Apple.
Ole Miss freshman G Breein Tyree and Syracuse freshman Tyus Battle were teammates last season at St. Joseph’s High School in New Jersey for head coach David Turco. The two helped the Falcons go 22-6.
Saturday’s game tips off at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN. The winner will advance to play the winner of Georgia Tech-Belmont.