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Ole Miss looks to solidify ranking against Florida

Jan 16, 2008 - 3:05 PM Florida (15-2) at No. 15 Ole Miss (14-1) 8:00 pm EST

OXFORD, Mississippi (Ticker) - No. 15 Mississippi has certainly been a surprise during the 2007-08 season.

Mississippi looks to solidify itself as a legitimate contender on Wednesday when it hosts two-time defending-champion Florida.

The Rebels (14-1, 1-1 SEC West) were picked by most to finish last in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference after a 21-13 season in 2006-07 which ended with a loss in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament in April.

However, Ole Miss opened the 2007-08 campaign with a school-record 13 straight wins before falling to then-No. 9 Tennessee, 85-83, last Wednesday.

But the Rebels bounced back during their last game on Saturday, posting a 74-71 victory over Louisiana State. Chris Warren and Eniel Polynice each scored 15 points for Ole Miss, which picked up its first conference win of the season.

Despite the departure of all five starters from its National Championship team, Florida (15-2, 2-0 SEC East) has steamrolled its way to four-straight wins - including a 72-56 triumph over Auburn during its last a game on Saturday.

Nick Calathes, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, scored 16 points against Auburn and leads the Gators, averaging 15.2 points this season while dishing out an SEC-leading 5.8 assists.