“Selection Monday” whizzed by Monday morning on ESPN, and when it finished the brackets did not include Ole Miss.
The Rebels’ season officially closes at 30-25 overall, 13-17 in SEC play without a bid to the conference tournament or the NCAA tournament.
It ends an eight-year run of NCAA bids for the Rebels, unprecedented in school history.
Five times in that span Ole Miss hosted a four-team NCAA regional at Swayze Field. Four times the Rebels advanced to the best-of-three super regional, and three times they won the first super regional game only two come up one win shy of the College World Series in Omaha.
“I’m not surprised, really. We knew going into the weekend that we needed help, and that’s a position we’ve not been in in a long time,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “When we started looking at all the upsets the last couple of days we knew it would be a long shot.”
Before Bianco’s arrival in 2001, Ole Miss had reached the NCAA tournament just three times since its most recent CWS appearance in 1972.
However, the overall wins and SEC wins were the fewest in Bianco’s tenure.
His only other Ole Miss team to fail to reach postseason was the 2002 club that finished 37-19 overall, 14-16 in SEC play.
The 2002 season was the only other season in which Bianco’s Rebels finished below .500 in the league.
That 2008 team went 15-15 but reached the SEC tournament championship game and went 2-2 in the Coral Gables, Fla., Regional hosted by Miami.
Not too long ago there was talk of 10 SEC teams making the field, but the final number was seven. Three are national seeds: Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600 or email@example.com.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal