Mark Dondero

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Ole Miss Hoops Climbing Ladder

Ole Miss moved up in both national polls. They are No. 16 in The Associated Press poll after being No. 23 last week and No. 16 in USA Today/ESPN Top 25 after being No. 24 last week.

Complete polls below …

REWIND: Ole Miss (17-2, 6-0 SEC) Looking back

After scoring just 18 points in the first half, the Rebels rode the hot shooting of guard Marshall Henderson to score 44 points in the second half and rally to beat Tennessee 62-56 on Thursday.

Ole Miss played at Auburn just 48 hours later and were a woeful 4 for 17 from the free throw line, but the two biggest free throws of the night – the two hit by Henderson with 6.4 seconds remaining – were the difference in the 63-61 win.

Looking ahead

The Rebels host Kentucky on Tuesday at 8 p.m. and will be on ESPN.

A win could set up a showdown of the SEC’s only unbeaten teams in Gainesville on Saturday, provided the No. 8-ranked Gators win at home against South Carolina on Wednesday night.

It’s a 6 p.m., tip for Ole Miss at Florida, and the game will be shown on ESPNU.

Who’s hot

Henderson averaged 21.5 points in the two games, and guard LaDarius White had a season-high 17 points to lead the Rebels at Auburn.

Who’s not

Senior forward Murphy Holloway continues to be strong on the boards but has been held below double-figure scoring the last two games. Holloway had eight points against Tennessee and five points at Auburn, where he hit 1 of 6 free throws attempts.

RPI watch

WarrenNolan.com has the Ole Miss RPI at 31.

Bottom Line

This team is finding ways to win, but the competition rises this week. Kentucky is a fraction of what it was a year ago but will have more scorers than Tennessee or Auburn, and Florida is playing well in all phases.

AP Top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 27, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Record Pts Prv

1. Michigan (51) 19-1 1,611 2

2. Kansas (13) 18-1 1,572 3

3. Indiana 18-2 1,457 7

4. Florida (1) 16-2 1,420 8

5. Duke 17-2 1,328 1

6. Syracuse 18-2 1,322 3

7. Gonzaga 19-2 1,177 10

8. Arizona 17-2 1,160 6

9. Butler 17-3 1,023 9

10. Oregon 18-2 969 16

11. Ohio St. 15-4 945 14

12. Louisville 16-4 905 5

13. Michigan St. 17-4 897 13

14. Miami 15-3 894 25

15. Wichita St. 19-2 621 20

16. Ole Miss 17-2 473 23

17. Missouri 15-4 464 22

18. Kansas St. 15-4 463 11

19. NC State 16-4 431 18

20. New Mexico 17-3 333 15

21. Creighton 18-3 312 17

22. San Diego St. 16-4 302 —

23. Minnesota 15-5 281 12

24. Cincinnati 16-4 220 21

25. Marquette 14-4 216 —

Others receiving votes: Georgetown 121, UNLV 56, Wisconsin 45, UCLA 34, Arizona St. 14, Notre Dame 12, Pittsburgh 10, Louisiana Tech 8, Villanova 6, Baylor 5, Iowa St. 4, Memphis 4, VCU 4, La Salle 3, Saint Mary’s (Cal) 2, Colorado St. 1.

USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Poll

The top 25 teams in the USA Today-ESPN men’s college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 27, points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Record Pts Pvs

1. Kansas (16) 18-1 760 2

2. Michigan (14) 19-1 757 3

3. Indiana 18-2 686 8

4. Florida (1) 16-2 685 7

5. Duke 17-2 644 1

6. Syracuse 18-2 624 4

7. Gonzaga 19-2 580 10

8. Arizona 17-2 557 6

9. Michigan State 17-4 459 11

10. Butler 17-3 447 9

11. Ohio State 15-4 438 15

12. Oregon 18-2 435 19

13. Louisville 16-4 422 5

14. Wichita State 19-2 340 21

15. Miami 15-3 326 —

16. Ole Miss 17-2 252 24

17. Creighton 18-3 249 12

18. Missouri 15-4 234 22

19. N.C. State 16-4 194 18

20. San Diego State 16-4 171 25

21. Kansas State 15-4 166 13

22. New Mexico 17-3 159 17

23. Cincinnati 16-4 134 20

24. Minnesota 15-5 87 14

25. Marquette 14-4 75 —

Others receiving votes: Georgetown 33, UNLV 32, VCU 27, Wisconsin 25, Pittsburgh 18, Notre Dame 13, UCLA 10, Baylor 7, Southern Miss. 7, Colorado State 6, Saint Mary’s 5, La Salle 3, Oklahoma State 3, Arizona State 2, Middle Tennessee 2, Louisiana Tech 1.

Read more: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal – Ole Miss basketball moves up in national polls