Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/26/14
The snubs were not unexpected. In fact, they weren't really snubs. As much as Kentucky fans want to believe their Wildcats deserved the benefit of the doubt on Selection Sunday, the defending national champions simply weren't that good. Neither was Alabama, nor Vanderbilt, or even 20-12 Tennessee. Only three SEC teams made it to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and only one, Florida, is on any learned scholar's Final Four list. The other two, Missouri (23-10) and SEC Tournament champion Ole Miss (26-8), haven't been given much respect, and aren't expected to go much farther than the second round. But anything is possible once the ball is in the air. That's why we watch. For example, did anyone think Davidson could beat Georgetown in 2008? Who had George Mason making to the Final Four in 2006? Anybody pick N.C. State in 1983? And what about Villanova over Georgetown in 1985? Sure, Ole Miss is an underdog against Wisconsin, a team that beat Indiana twice and is 1-1 against SEC teams this season, beating Arkansas and losing early to Florida. On paper, the Rebels dont have a shot. But they don't play the game on paper. This Ole Miss team has two things going for it: 1. The Rebels know they aren't supposed to win, which can be liberating. Rather than tie themselves into Gordian knots, they can free-wheel, relax, and play with the sort of reckless abandon that so commonly leads to upsets in the first round. 2. They have an unheralded weapon in the form of Marshall Henderson, a 6-foot-2 junior who averages 20.1 points a game and energizes everyone who stands with him. Henderson also enrages his opponents with taunts and jeers and the kinds of antics that would earn him plenty of fines if he was playing in the NBA. "Obviously, the Marshall Henderson show is like the traveling circus," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy after the Rebels beat Florida in the SEC Championship game, in which Marshall had 21 points and mocked the crowd with a Gator Chomp. "It's up, it's down," Kennedy said. "We've got the high-wire act over here, the ponies here, we got all kinds of nonsense going on, and he draws a lot of attention. He's a big shot maker." Henderson also has the Rebels in their first NCAA Tournament since 2002, which has electrified Ole Miss fans. Of course, one player is rarely enough to carry a team throughout the tournament, but Henderson has also shown a knack for making those around him better. If he can keep the magic going for five more games, the Rebs could become this year's Cinderella story. Missouri would be considered a more likely team to go deep. The Tigers are one of the best rebounding squads in the tournament with the No. 20 scoring offense in the land. Their leader, point guard Phil Pressey, averaged 11.6 points and a whopping 7.1 assists a game. Earlier in the year, Pressey set a single-game NCAA record with 19 assists against UCLA. Missouri might be underdogs to Colorado State by tipoff, and the Tigers will certainly be underdogs if they advance beyond the second round (against Louisville). Florida is very good. A lot of well-respected basketball experts have them in the Final Four and some have picked them to go all the way. But don't count the other SEC teams out just yet. Even in a down year for college sports' biggest conference, once the whistle blows, anything's possible.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Red Sox to reportedly target Pablo Sandoval in offseason

Alex Rodriguez's season-long MLB ban comes to an end

Madison Bumgarner pitches Giants to World Series title

Giants fans get rowdy celebrating World Series win

Roy Williams' response to criticism over academic scandal

Jerry Jones challenging Tony Romo to play Sunday?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wizards make rapper Wale new 'creative liaison' for team

Report: Joe Maddon to become Cubs manager

Rockets Harden and Ariza visit Julius Randle in the hospital

Dan Gilbert asked if he 'deserved' to have LeBron back

Brady: Maybe at Manning's age I'll be playing that well

Dolphins LB brings kid from stands to field before each game

WATCH: Randle offers money for massage in jailhouse video

Top storyline for each Week 9 NFL game

WATCH: Chevy guy bombs World Series presentation

WATCH: James Ennis throws down dunk of the season

Kris Humphries shares nasty photo of gruesome finger injury

WATCH: Joe Panik makes play of the game in Game 7

Russell Westbrook wears aluminum foil-like outfit

WATCH: Capitals' Chimera suffers nasty broken nose

Robert Griffin III to start against Vikings

WATCH: Navy raps about Notre Dame, set to ‘Anaconda’

Rulon Gardner selling Olympic memorabilia to pay $3.9M debt

Mike Pettine says he ‘can sense’ Johnny Manziel’s frustration

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

Tom Brady talks Peyton Manning

Best Game 7s in World Series history

NFL, MLB spend on mid-term elections

Gurley suspended four games

Gordie Howe suffered stroke

WATCH: Kobe and Dwight get into it

Notre Dame WR will not be punished

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.