EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kentucky Defends Its Home Court
Vanderbilt has never defeated the Kentucky Wildcats in Rupp Arena. Tonight, that tradition held firm for another season. Kentucky's strong second half effort transformed a 3 point half time lead into a powerful 15 point victory, 69 - 54. Kentucky's offense tonight was a strong rebound from the dismal performance on Sunday against Kansas. Tonight, Kentucky shot over 50% from the floor for the first time this season. On defense, Kentucky continued its fine play and limited Vanderbilt to 9 for 30 shooting from 3 point range even though Vanderbilt had been making about 40% of its three attempts this season.
Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was a very strong 1.000 ppp, significantly higher than the 0.843 ppp I predicted. On defense, Kentucky held Kansas to 0.818 ppp, only slightly lower than the 0.828 ppp I predicted.
Based on this season's NCAA RPI Strength of Schedule and season performance, I predicted a three point Vanderbilt margin, 70- 67.
During the Vanderbilt game, Kentucky had a total of 69 possessions, eight of which resulted from offensive rebounds. The average offensive efficiency for the first chance possessions for the game was an anemic 0.984 ppp while the average efficiency for the 8 second chance possessions was 1.125 ppp. Vanderbilt was also more efficient on its 4 second chance possessions [1.750 ppp] than its 62 first chance possessions [0.758 ppp].
Kentucky continues SEC conference play next Saturday, for the first time in 2005 on the road in Athens Georgia against a weak Georgia team has not yet tasted victory against an SEC opponent this season.
Let's compare the teams as of January 13, 2005
Win-Loss Record 11 - 2 6 - 7
Based on each team's early performance with an adjustment for strength of schedule, I would make the following prediction:
UK 73 Georgia 62