Ole Miss v Wisconsin

Ole Miss junior guard Marshall Henderson averaged over 20 points per game for the SEC tournament champion Rebels this season, with his three-point stroke and penchant for taunting and trash-talking especially capturing the casual fan’s attention heading into the tournament.

But Henderson is what we call a “chucker” in the truest sense of the word. He’s unconscious and has a short memory when it comes to his shooting. In short, he’s never seen a shot – whether open or contested – that he didn’t like.

Today against Wisconsin, Henderson started the game 1-for-13 from the field and 0-for-6 from behind the arc, causing me to initially name this post “Marshall Henderson is having a bad day.” But if you think starts like that are going to stop him from firing away, say like taking a very deep, contested three with 32 seconds on the shot clock, well then you don’t know Marshall Henderson.

Despite the hideous individual start from Henderson, Ole Miss kept the game within reach with some excellent defence (Wisconsin shot just 25% for the game), leaving them with more than just a puncher’s chance at an upset once Henderson started to come alive. And come alive he did, as over the last 11:25, Henderson scored 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-6 three-point shooting, leading the Rebels on a 24-10 run to finish the game.

When it was all said and done, in their first NCAA Tourney appearance since 2002, No. 12 Ole Miss upset No. 5 Wisconsin 57-46 to advance to the West Regional quarterfinals, more commonly known as the Round of 32. I mentioned yesterday that with No. 1 Gonzaga looking shaky against Southern and No. 3 New Mexico being upset by Harvard, the West Region looked very wide open. Throw in the Rebels knocking off the Badgers and things suddenly open up even wider in the weakest of the four regions.

It appears as though if you’re looking for real bracket-busting Madness going forward, you’ll have to go West.

As for Henderson, Basketball Hell hath no fury like a chucker scorned.