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SEC Hoops Preview: Ole Miss

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The Bulldogs go on the road to face rival Ole Miss in the Battle for the Golden Basketball.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

The Hard Boiled Egg Bowl

Who: Mississippi State (9-10, 2-4) @ Ole Miss (12-7, 3-3)

Where to Watch: SEC Network

When to Watch: January 28th, 8:00 PM CST

After a disappointing loss against Georgia, the Mississippi State Bulldogs head to Oxford to face their bitter rivals, the Ole Miss Rebels, for the 251st time. The Bulldogs lead the series 141-109 but the Rebels have won two straight against MSU.

Who are the Ole Miss Rebels? A squad that can pack a punch on offense but has been anything but consistent this season certainly has Andy Kennedy scratching his head . A loss to Charleston Southern to open the year was followed by wins over a ranked Creighton squad and a NCAA caliber Cincinnati team. The Rebels followed up their confusing non-conference results by beginning SEC play with a near upset of No.1 Kentucky. Wins over Arkansas and Florida continue to muddy the picture. While the results of the the Rebels' games have been confusing this season the formula for the Rebels has been clear, get Stefan Moody the ball and win the game.

The Bulldogs are coming off their first loss in three games but it feels as if Mississippi State has turned a corner this season. After getting embarrassed by Tennessee and Florida, the Bulldogs found an offensive rhythm against Texas A&M and haven't lost it since. I.J. Ready has scored in double-digits for 5 straight games and Roquez Johnson has been clicking in conference play scoring a career high 25 points against Georgia. The Bulldogs have been playing at a much higher level as of late and if they continue to gel as a team, don't be surprised to see them win a few more SEC games along the way.

This will be a tough game for Mississippi State. Fans of the Bulldogs know well of the team's road struggles but Ole Miss is far from a basketball juggernaut. The combination of State's hot play as of late and the rivalry aspect of this game gives one pause for automatically selecting the Vegas favorite Rebels. Ole Miss has found a way to win games solely on its offensive potential and Mississippi State's top 50 scoring defense has often kept the Bulldogs in all of their games. Which strength wins out? The feeling here is that Ole Miss comes out cocky and has an off shooting night, giving the Bulldogs an opportunity to get another big road win. #HailState

Predictions:

@moaleck: Mississippi State 70-69

@Charlie_Burris: Mississippi State 61-59

Dawg Facts: The Rebels are Mississippi State's most played opponent and one of only two SEC teams, South Carolina being the other, that the Bulldogs have a winning record against.