EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kansas Gets Its First Ever Win in Lexington, and only 4th Win All Time Against Kentucky
The number 1 [Kentucky, 1886 wins] and number 3 [Kansas, 1835 wins] all-time winn ingest college basketball teams met today for the 23rd time. Kentucky has dominated this series of college basketballs giants, now 19 - 4. However, today belonged to a fine Kansas team that successfully defended its undefeated record and #2 national ranking against #8 Kentucky.
Neither team could find the basket in the first half that saw Kentucky go into the locker room nursing a slim 4 point lead, 25 - 21. However, Kansas made the necessary adjustments and used the first T\V segment of the second half to convert the 4 pont deficit into a 4 point lead at the first TV timeout. The teams essentially played even for the remainer of the game.
Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was a season low 0.656 ppp, significantly lower than the 0.768 ppp I predicted. On defense, Kentucky held Kansas to 0.765 ppp, significantly lower than the 0.886 ppp I predicted. This begs the question. Was the defense that good of the shot selection that poor. Of course, Kansas did find its shooting eye in the second half.
Based on this season's NCAA RPI Strength of Schedule and season performance, I predicted an eight point Kansas margin, 74 - 66.
During the Kansas game, Kentucky had a total of 90 possessions, twenty of which resulted from offensive rebounds. The average offensive efficiency for the first chance possessions for the game was an anemic 0.586 ppp while the average efficiency for the 20 second chance possessions was 0.900 ppp. Kansas was also more efficient on its 12 second chance possessions [0.917 ppp] than its 74 first chance possessions [0.730 ppp].
Kentucky returns to SEC conference play next Wednesday in Rupp Arena against solid Vanderbilt team that has handily won its first two SEC games [Alabama and Tennessee].
Let's compare the teams as of January 10, 2005
Win-Loss Record 10 - 2 11 - 4
Based on each team's early performance with an adjustment for strength of schedule, I would make the following prediction:
UK 68 Vanderbilt 67