The Ole Miss Rebels are the latest No. 12 seed to pull off a victory in the NCAA tournament's round of 64, decisively defeating the Wisconsin Badgers 57-46 on Friday in Kansas City's Sprint Center.
Outspoken guard Marshall Henderson was once again very inefficient, making just six of his 21 shots from the field, but he led the way for the Rebels with 19 points in this defensive struggle.
The front line of Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner also gave Ole Miss outstanding production against the fundamentally sound, sizable Badgers interior. Holloway put up 10 points and snagged nine rebounds, while Buckner racked up 12 boards and finished one point short of a double-double.
Wisconsin actually maintained the pace it wanted and kept one of the nation's highest-scoring teams in check. However, the Badgers simply couldn't hit anything on the afternoon, shooting a woeful 25.4 percent from the field. Forward Sam Dekker was the only player in double figures for Wisconsin with 14 points.
Many of Henderson's looks were clean, but the shots simply didn't fall. Henderson did make five of his final eight shots, though, keying the Ole Miss offense in the second half as it outscored the Badgers 35-21.
An encouraging run to the Big Ten tournament final didn't translate to March Madness success for Bo Ryan's squad, who lost for just the second time in 13 appearances at this stage of the tournament.
As for Ole Miss, the winner of the impending matchup between the Kansas State Wildcats and LaSalle Explorers awaits in Round 3. The Rebels will be hoping for another upset in this portion of the bracket, as the Wildcats would continue to have the home-state advantage.
ESPN Stats & Info pointed out how the majority of those who filled out brackets picked the favored Badgers. To say the least, the Rebels busted quite a few fans' hopes for perfection:
20 pct of 8.15M Tournament Challenge brackets picked Ole Miss over Wisconsin. There are now just 349 perfect brackets remaining— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 22, 2013
University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari was checking out the action and sent out his congratulations to the Rebels for representing the SEC well:
ESPN's J.A. Adande poked a little fun at both teams' expense, succinctly capturing Wisconsin's boring playing style and the mercurial personality of the Rebels' Henderson:
College basketball needs more Marshall Hendersons. He even makes a Wisconsin game interesting.— J.A. Adande (@jadande) March 22, 2013
Tyler Mason of Fox Sports North used a cross-sports analogy to show just how putrid the Badgers' shooting performance was:
Stat of the day: the #Badgers basketball team shot a lower % from the field today (25.4%) than the Wisconsin hockey team yesterday (25.9%).— Tyler Mason (@FSNtylermason) March 22, 2013
Andy Katz of ESPN highlighted an interesting developing trend in the context of this win by Ole Miss and another No. 12 seed upset that Oregon pulled out over Oklahoma State:
Well, there goes Wisconsin. Awful shooting game. But Ole Miss proves the hot team out of a power six conference is a good pick (see Ore too)— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) March 22, 2013
NBA draft guru Chad Ford was impressed with Henderson's clutch play:
Henderson starts 1-for-13. Finishes 5-for-8 down the stretch.Huge win for Ole Miss. Say what you will, Marshall Henderson is clutch— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) March 22, 2013
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