Missouri (77) vs. Ole Miss (80) 02/25/17

#47 of 351  13% complete

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Ole Miss is all about football like most of the teams in the SEC. With the exception of Florida and Kentucky, the SEC has had limited success in the March madness world. The Walk of Champions serves as the starting point for the football team as they march towards the football stadium located across from the basketball arena. The grove is full of tailgaters that cheer wildly and celebrate the weekend of football at Ole Miss.

You will see no such sights today at the Ole Miss basketball game. However, I was impressed by the spirit of the crowd. Ole Miss is currently on the bubble and needed a win today against the weaker Missouri Tigers. But first a walk through the campus on this beautiful February day was in order.

 

Oxford is your typical college town that deserves a walk around before the game. The court house is surrounded by small shops and restaurants. I had BBQ chicken  and beans at the Ajax Diner. My two friends who were Ole Miss fans remarked that it was strange seeing the grove completely empty. As we drove in, the street was lined with cars watching an Ole Miss baseball game. A quick note should you ever visit Mississippi: Do not ask for a “grinder”, ask for a “sub”. Do not ask for a Coke. Coke refers to the general term for soda. You will be asked what kind of Coke.

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2017-02-25 15.17.58.jpgThe Pavilion was built in 2016 and is a great arena to watch a basketball game. We sprung for the Pavilion ticket costing $75 which gave us access to a buffet lounge and center court seats. We had unlimited popcorn and soft drinks. Before the game, everyone sings the Hotty Toddy song:

“Are You Ready?

H*** Yeah! D*** Right!

Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty,

Who The H*** Are We? Hey!

Flim Flam, Bim Bam

Ole Miss By D***!”

For more information on this unique cheer:

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/09/what_is_a_hotty_toddy_and_why.html

Ole Miss continues the beloved seating arrangement where the students are down close. I love seeing this as a slap in the face of the fat cat fans who have season tickets owned by big corporations.

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Do you see in the picture above a gentleman dressed in denim seated to the left of the all brown clothed female in the front row? The sixth from the right? You won’t recognize him from this distance but he is a big movie star who is a regular at Ole Miss games. It helps talking to friendly folks seated around us especially after I tell them about my crazy quest. Okay the gentleman is Morgan Freeman.

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The place is a step above your typical college arena. There are so much variety with places to eat that you will have a tough time deciding what to eat. Below are some of the eateries:

 

The game was back and forth the entire game but Missouri surprisingly held on till the end. My player of the game was Ole Miss Deandre Burnett a 6′ 2″ guard who lit up the Tigers for 28 points. I was also impressed by freshman Missouri guard Frankie Hughes who was very hot from the three point stripe.

A first for me was a cellphone light display by the fans. I have seen this at concerts but never at a basketball game.

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A final shout out to the scoreboard! It was high def and simple to follow. On to Graceland!

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