The NCAA tournament begins in earnest tomorrow. The NIT has already begun and has done so without the Rebels.
This is not a bad thing. It’s unlikely David Huertas would have been at full strength any time soon. With his bruised foot the Rebels finally had the injury they could not overcome.
To take a collection of largely inexperienced players to a 7-9 SEC record is impressive, but there are pros and cons to the idea of continuing the season.
Without Huertas at full strength the chance for the Rebels to be very good offensively are slim. To continue on at less than your best against what would likely have been a solid mid-major who was excited to play and also healthy … That’s not a good mix for Ole Miss and would likely have resulted in one more loss to end a season in which the Rebels were running on fumes at the end.
Had the bid come you accept it to continue a string of postseason appearances, give your young guys that experience and build some tradition.
But take it and lose, and suddenly you’ve ended the season with losses in five of your last six games, and the memory of how well this team played for two-thirds of the conference season fades a bit.
More on this in the print edition Thursday.