1:00 PM ET, March 17, 2013
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Mississippi Rebels now have two very big items on their resume that nobody can take away.Murphy Holloway scored 23 points and Marshall Henderson had 21 as the Rebels gave coach Andy Kennedy his first NCAA tournament berth by upsetting 13th-ranked Florida 66-63 on Sunday for the Southeastern Conference tournament championship."So much is made about the NCAA tournament," Kennedy said. "I was just glad to get the albatross that is the NCAA tournament off the neck of our program so people can now exhale and get a new focal point."The Rebels (26-8) have won seven of eight grabbing their first tournament title since 1981 and their second ever. Even though they thought reaching this game for the first time since 2001 probably clinched their seventh NCAA bid in Kennedy's seventh season as coach, the Rebels wanted the SEC championship too.
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With their 3-point loss to Ole Miss in Sunday's SEC Championship Game, the Florida Gators remain winless in games decided by less than 10 points this season. Florida is 0-6 in games decided by single digits this season and have lost their last eight contests decided by less than 10 points going back to last season. The Gators' last win in a game decided by less than 10 points was a 66-63 over Alabama during last year's SEC Tournament (March 9, 2012).
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