NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Murphy Holloway scored 23 points and Marshall Henderson had 21 as the Mississippi Rebels gave coach Andy Kennedy his first NCAA tournament berth Sunday by upsetting 13th-ranked Florida 66-63 for the Southeastern Conference tournament championship.
The Rebels (26-8) now 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 the NCAA bid, the Rebels wanted the championship too.
Reginald Buckner added 13 points.
Florida (26-7) haven't won this tournament since wrapping up a three-peat in 2007 and haven't won a game by fewer than 10 points this season.
The Gators had a final chance to force overtime. Scottie Wilbekin missed both free throws with 4.2 seconds left, and Kenny Boynton's last gasp 3 glanced off the rim.
Mike Rosario had 18 points and Boynton 13 for the Gators.