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Numbers favor Kentucky by 12 points

Dominique Hawkins (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS

The Cats opened play in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament against Georgia. Laying some recent demons to rest, the Cats scored first when De’Aaron Fox assisted Edrice (BAM) Adebayo for a driving dunk following a Georgia turnover. When De’Aaron Fox and Derek Willis added back to back 3 pointers, the Cats led 8-2, and never trailed in the game. The lead stood at 7 points at the half, and for much of the second half, the Cats played from leads of 11 to 18 points, finally settling for an 11 point win.

But for some sloppy free throw shooting down the stretch, and a flurry of second chance points in the last 90 seconds by Georgia, the final margin would have been closer to 20.

The other upper bracket quarterfinal game between favored South Carolina, the 4 seed, and Alabama, the 5 seed, Alabama pulled away at the end for an 11 point win. That game was played within a range of +/- 5 points for all but the final 2 minutes. This sets up the semi-final game for Saturday, Alabama vs Kentucky.

ALABAMA enters this game with a 19-13; 10-8 SEC regular season record and a winner over Mississippi State and South Carolina in the second and quarterfinal rounds of the SEC Tournament. Alabama finished the regular season with only one win (over #78 Mississippi by 15) in their last four games

ALABAMA enters this game with an ANE of 0.126 points per possession against strength of schedule of 0.0684 ppp (#60). The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.289 ppp against strength of schedule of 0.0962 ppp (#29).

The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 12 points, 76-64, at apace of 70 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.083 ppp and 0.912 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky’s favor by 10 points 74-64 at a pace of 69 possessions. Vegas opened favoring the Cats by 10 1/2 points.

Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:
http://bigbluefans4uk.com/2016-17DataandWritings/247_PREDICTIONS/33_Predictions.png

You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:
http://kentucky.247sports.com/Board/296/Contents/SEC-Tournament-Semi-final-Pred-Thread-Alabama-51711256

1 comment

  1. TheProfessor

    Analysis:
    UK scored its 79 points on 66 possessions (1.200 ppp) for the game, and ALABAMA scored its 74 points on 68 possessions (1.088 ppp).
    Alabama won the battle of the boards, 33-28, and Alabama won on the offensive end 12-7. Kentucky used its 7 second chance possessions to score 12 second chance points, and ALABAMA used its 12 second chance possessions to score 15 second chance points. ALABAMA had an offensive efficiency of 0.867 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.250 ppp for its 12 second chance possessions. UK had 1.015 ppp on its 66 first chance possessions and 1.714 ppp on its 7 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 25.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while ALABAMA was able to convert 36.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
    UK hit poorly from the free throw line through the first half of this game, but the Cats made 22-26 in the decisive second half to go 27-39 for the game (69.2%). ALABAMA made 15-20 [75.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 23-44 overall [52.3%] and 6-14 from long range [42.9%]. For ALABAMA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 25-48 [52.1%] and from long range, ALABAMA hit 3-14 [21.4%].
    The Cats committed 13 turnovers, one for every 5.1 possessions. The Cats forced 12 ALABAMA turnovers, one for every 5.2 possessions.
    Next Game On Schedule: Sunday afternoon, March 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm in the championship game of the SEC Tournament in Nashville. The Opponent will be the winner of Saturday’s second semi-final between Vanderbilt and Arkansas.

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