EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kentucky Makes a Courageous Comeback
Louisville had never defeated Kentucky in three consecutive games, and today, Louisville missed an excellent opportunity to accomplish just that. Inside the 11 minute mark of the second half, Louisville led Kentucky by 16 points, the same deficit as the half, when Louisville led 32 - 16. Kentucky displayed a courage. Kentucky tied its all time record for second half come backs.
I knew prior to this game that the teams were very evenly matched, and predicted a game "too close to call" even though I gave Kentucky a 1 point predicted victory based on its defense's ability to force turnovers. In fact, the turnovers today, particularly the second half Louisville turnovers were the difference in the game.
After Kentucky leaped out of the starting gate to a 5-0 lead, Coach Pitino called a time out to steady his team. Louisville responded with an 11 - 0 run out of the time out, and continued their onslaught in building the 16 point half time lead. With a half time score of 32 - 16, the Magic Number for this game became 56 points. Kentucky caught up and took its first lead since that initial burst at 55-54.
Kentucky offensive efficiency for this game was 0.833 ppp, slightly below the predicted efficiency 0.843 ppp. On defense, Kentucky allowed 0.893 ppp, significantly higher than predicted, 0.833 ppp. Kentucky's defensive performance again failed to meet expectations against a quality opponent.
Based on this season's NCAA RPI Strength of Schedule and season performance, I predicted a 1 point Kentucky margin, 73 - 72.
During the Louisville game, Kentucky had a total of 72 possessions, twelve of which resulted from offensive rebounds. The average offensive efficiency for the first chance possessions for the game was 0.950 points per possession [ppp] while the average efficiency for the 12 second chance possessions was 0.250 ppp. Indiana was also more efficient on first chance possessions [0.930 ppp] than second chance possessions [0.625 ppp].
William & Mary Is Next!
Let's compare the teams as of December 19, 2004.
UK William & Mary
Win-Loss Record 7-1 3-3
Based on each team's early performance with an adjustment for strength of schedule, I would make the following prediction:
UK 78 William & Mary 63