EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kentucky Allows Indiana to Dictate Pace
Kentucky and Indiana resumed their annual grudge match. Between them, they hold 12 NCAA championships, making them two of the premiere college basketball programs. However, Kentucky continued its dominance of Indiana, winning again today for the 10th time in the last 11 meetings and the 7 th time in a row. Mike Davis has not found a winning game plan against his nemisis yet, much to his great chagrin.
Today, Kentucky withstood a hot start by Indiana which saw them run out to an early 9 point lead at 13 - 4, about 6 minutes into the game. However, the remainder of the game belonged to Kentucky's inside players. Coach Davis' game plan was clear. Slow the pace as much as possible, keeping possessions in the low 70s rather than the upper 80s that Kentucky averaging this season. Indiana was successful with their tactic, but the tactic did not work today. Kentucky adapted to the slow pace and posted an offensive efficiency for the game of 0.973 ppp. This is higher than the season average and the predicted offensive efficiency for this game.
Kentucky handily defeated Indiana 73 - 58. Kentucky posted its second strongest offensive efficiency of the season [0.973 ppp today; 1.046 ppp v Tennessee Tech]. However, Kentucky's strong offense was not matched on the defensive end, which saw Kentucky posting its second highest defensive efficiency of the season [0.794 ppp today; 0.919 ppp v. UNC].
Based on this season's NCAA RPI Strength of Schedule and season performance, I predicted a 5 point Kentucky margin, 67 - 62.
During the Indiana game, Kentucky had a total of 75 possessions, eight of which resulted from offensive rebounds. The average offensive efficiency for the first chance possessions for the game was 1.105 points per possession [ppp] while the average efficiency for the 8 second chance possessions was 0.625 ppp. Indiana was also more efficient on first chance possessions [0.831 ppp] than second chance possessions [0.500 ppp].
Louisville Is Next!
Lousville holds the recent upper hand in this intra-state rivalry. This series has been marked by the fact that the actual game seldom plays out as expected. All holds are barred, and prior performance by these teams have little to do with how they compete against one another. Based on team data through 2 pm 12/12/04, I see this game as a dead heat.
Let's compare the teams
Win-Loss Record 6-1 5-1
Based on each team's early performance only, and no adjustment for strengthof schedule, I would make the following prediction:
UK 74 Louisville 72