Ole Miss pulled off a dramatic comeback to win its First Four game and defeat BYU 94-90.
BYU took control of the game early, scoring the first eight points of the contest. The Rebels answered with six straight of their own, and it remained tight for most of the rest of the half. The Cougars took over in the final 5:31 though, executing a 19-7 run to take a 17-point 49-32 lead at the half. Tyler Haws, BYU's all-time leading scorer, had 19 first half points to lead the way. He had nine of BYU's 19 points in the half-ending run.
The Rebels worked their way back into the game in the second half, cutting the lead to as little as five over the first ten minutes of the period. As foul trouble caught up to the Cougars, Ole Miss found its opening.
With 9:18 to go in the game, M.J. Rhett sparked a run with a dunk to cut the lead to 66-59. Stefan Moody made a jumper, then Rhett got a three-point play down low. Haws answered with a bucket to push the lead to 68-64, but the Cougars would go silent for a while. Rhett made another dunk on a three-point play, Moody hit a three, and Rhett closed the run with another dunk. A 15-2 run changed the game and put Ole Miss on top 72-68.
BYU wasn't done. The Cougars clawed back and even took an 80-78 lead with 3:58 to go on a Chase Fischer three. What turned the game was a quick five points in 25 seconds that Ole Miss got, with Moody hitting a three and Ladarius White laying it in. The exchange broke an 82-all tie and turned it into an 87-82 lead with 1:32 to go. The Rebels wouldn't trail again, thanks to Rhett and Sebastian Saiz nailing critical baskets and BYU missing a pair of threes after. Martavious Newby extended the lead to 93-87 with a pair of free throws with nine seconds to go, and after a Haws three, Jarvis Summers iced the game by making a free throw and pushing the lead to four with 2.9 seconds to go.
Haws led all scorers with 33 on the game, and Fischer had 23. Ole Miss did a good job defending BYU's second-leading scorer Kyle Collinsworth, who had seven rebounds and ten assists but just eight points on 1/7 shooting. Moody led the way for the Rebels with 26 points on 10-18 shooting. Rhett came up big with 20 points, and four other Rebels hit double figured. Summers had 10 despite a poor shooting night, but he partly made up for it with ten assists. Newby had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Ole Miss now gets to feel like it really is a part of the NCAA Tournament, having made the actual Field of 64. The Rebels' next opponent is the West region's 6-seed Xavier, who they'll face at 4:10 p.m. ET on TBS.