Middle Tennessee is set to meet with SEC foe Ole Miss for the third consecutive season on Friday evening when the teams face off in Nashville in the Battle at Bridgestone.
Ole Miss presents yet another challenge for the Blue Raiders, who have played one of the nation's toughest non-conference schedules once again in 2018. The most recent NET ratings had MT's schedule ranked as the sixth toughest in the nation to this point in the season, easily the toughest schedule face by any Conference USA member.
To make things even tougher, the Blue Raiders entered the season in the bottom 10 nationally in starts, minutes and points returning from the 2017-18 season and have had to navigate the league's most difficult schedule with a young and inexperienced squad.
Despite the challenging opponents MT has faced, junior Antonio Green has averaged 18 points a game and ranks seventh in C-USA scoring while senior Karl Gamble ranks ninth in the conference in rebounds per game (7.1).
The Rebels began a new era this season as former MT Head Coach Kermit Davis took over at Ole Miss. Davis and the Rebels are currently riding a five-game winning streak headed into Friday.
The Rebels rank 8th nationally in field goal percentage and 13th in free throw percentage. Junior Breein Tyree is the main scoring threat for Ole Miss having scored at least 20 points in five of the last seven games. Tyree is aided on offense by Preseason All-SEC Second Team selection Terence Davis (15.8 ppg).
Middle Tennessee and Ole Miss are meeting for the 11th time with the Blue Raiders holding a narrow 6-4 advantage in the series. MT has won each of the two meetings in the current four-game series and six of the last seven overall.
The Blue Raiders and Rebels will tip-off at 7 p.m. CT and fans can watch live on CBS Sports Network's Facebook Page.