Guest post: Numbers favor Kentucky by 4 points


The SEC Tournament’s semi-final games were as different as night and day. In the first game, Texas A&M waltzed their way into a place in Sunday’s Championship Game because LSU basically was a no show for the game. In the second game, Georgia challenged Kentucky and led for nearly the entire game, before the Cats pulled away late for a 13 point win . Now the table has been set for a Texas A&M and Kentucky rematch for the SEC Tournament championship.

But for a nanosecond of poor judgment by one UK player with only a few seconds remaining in overtime, the Cats would have gotten out of College Station last month with a win that would have sealed sole possession of the SEC regular season championship. Because of that technical foul, UK and Texas A&M ended the regular season in a tie.

The Cats will have an opportunity on Sunday to demonstrate its superiority in the entire SEC with another tournament championship, and with a neutral court win over the Aggies.

TEXAS A&M has played its 33 games at an average tempo of about 69 possessions per game, scoring 75.9 ppg (1.096 ppp) and allowing an average 65.0 ppg (0.942 ppp). TEXAS A&M has turned the ball over on 17.0% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 20.9% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, TEXAS A&M has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 34.8%, and a defensive rebounding rate of 70.0%. The TEXAS A&M schedule has a strength of schedule of 0.6635 (#50).

In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 69 to 70 possessions per game, producing 79.6 ppg (1.152 ppp) and allowing 68.0 ppg (0.977 ppp). The Cats have committed turnovers on 15.9% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 17.7% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats’ rebounding rates have been 38.0% and 68.6% on the offensive and defensive ends. The Cats have a strength of schedule of 0.6815 (#36).

Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of the Cats with a theoretical margin of 4 points, 74-70 in a game played at a pace of 69 possessions for the Cats and 69 possessions for TEXAS A&M. Pomeroy has this as a 2 point Kentucky favorite, 73-71, at a pace of 66 possessions. Vegas opens with UK a 4 point favorite, and within a few hours, the line has slipped to 3 ½ points.

See how other Big Blue Fans see this game’s likely outcome by clicking the following link.

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1 comment

  1. Analysis:

    UK scored its 82 points on 72 possessions for the game, and TEXAS A&M scored its 77 points on 71 possessions.

    The Aggies controlled the Boards, 41-35, and the Aggies won the battle on the offensive glass 17-11. Kentucky used its 11 second chance possessions to score 14 second chance points, and TEXAS A&M used its 17 second chance possessions to score 14 second chance points. TEXAS A&M had an offensive efficiency of 0.887 ppp on its 71 first chance possessions and 0.824 ppp for its 17 second chance possessions. UK had 0.944 ppp on its 72 first chance possessions and 1.273 ppp on its 11 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 31.4% of its misses as offensive rebounds while TEXAS A&M was able to convert 41.5% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 16-24 [66.7%]. TEXAS A&M made 15-22 [68.2%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 28-62 overall [48.3%] and 10-24 from long range [41.7%]. For TEXAS A&M, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a 22-43 [51.2%] and from long range, TEXAS A&M hit 6-23 [26.1%].

    The Cats committed 13 turnovers, one for every 5.5 possessions. The Cats forced 13 TEXAS A&M turnovers, one for every 5.5 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: The Cats will next play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at a location and against an opponent that the NCAA will announce in about 2 hours.

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