Numbers project a 15-point UK win

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)


UK showed positive signs against Alabama that their 9 game skid may be ending. However, the Cats still squandered a sizable second half lead (18 points) late in the game to get out of Tuscaloosa with an 8-point win.

With six games remaining, 3 on the road (Georgia, Missouri, and Texas A&M) and 3 at Rupp (Tennessee, Florida, and Vanderbilt), the Cats still have the SEC regular season championship within their own control, and an opportunity to play itself into perhaps a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The win at Alabama provides a basis for optimism on both fronts.

Five of these final six games will be rematches with previous SEC opponents (only the game with Missouri is not a second game). The Cats have lost to two of these final opponents, and has beaten the other three. Tennessee handed the Cats their first SEC loss three weeks ago in Knoxville by 2 points, 82-80. In that game, the Cats were not at full strength, with Mychal Mulder missing the game completely, and De’Aaron Fox nursing an ankle injury, and it showed.

The Cats trailed at the half by 5 points, and about 8 minutes into the second half, the Vols expanded their lead to 11 points. The Cats did find a way to fight back into the game, and make it close at the end, but could not get into the lead. The story of the game: Poor shooting and rebounding, and Tennessee hitting 50% of their 3 point attempts.

TENNESSEE enters the game with a 14-11; 6-6 record. Since the victory over the Cats, the Vols have won three times, over #28 Kansas State by 12, at #75 Auburn by 10, and over #69 Mississippi by 9. The Vols have lost twice since they beat the Cats; at #97 Mississippi State by 5 and to #50 Georgia by 1. TENNESSEE enters this game with an ANE of 0.165 points per possession against a strength of schedule of 0.1125 ppp (#6).

The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.289 ppp against a strength of schedule of 0.0847 ppp (#27). The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 15 points, 83-68 at apace of 75 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.101 ppp and 0.902 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky’s favor by 12 points 86-74 at a pace of 75 possessions, and Vegas has opened with the Cats favored by 14.

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1 comment

  1. Analysis:
    UK scored its 83 points on 71 possessions (1.169 ppp) for the game, and TENNESSEE scored its 58 points on 70 possessions (0.829 ppp).
    Kentucky won the battle of the boards 43-37, and the Cats won the battle of the offensive glass 10-6. Kentucky used its 10 second chance possessions to score 7 second chance points, and TENNESSEE used its 6 second chance possessions to score 6 second chance points. TENNESSEE had an offensive efficiency of 0.743 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 6 second chance possessions. UK had 1.070 ppp on its 71 first chance possessions and 0.700 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 24.4% of its misses as offensive rebounds while TENNESSEE was able to convert 15.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
    UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 8-12 [66.7%]. TENNESSEE made 19-24 [79.2%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 32-69 overall [46.4%] and 11-25 from long range [44.0%]. For TENNESSEE , their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-36 [41.7%] and from long range, TENNESSEE hit 3-16 [18.8%].
    The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 10.1 possessions. The Cats forced 13 TENNESSEE turnovers, one for every 5.4 possessions.
    Next Game On Schedule: Saturday evening, February 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm at Athens against Georgia in the 27th regular season game and 14th SEC of the 2016-17 season.

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