EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kentucky Takes Care of Business Against LSU
Kentucky returned to Rupp Arena today for a single game break to a stretch of SEC road games. Today, the wildcats put any thought of upset out of everyone's mind early, and coasted to a comfortable 89 - 58 score to remain the only team remaining unbeaten this season in SEC play.
Kentucky defeated LSU even though LSU had enjoyed 8 more possessions. Kentucky overcame LSU's aggressive offensive rebounding with excellent shot selection, high shooting percentage from 3 and free throws, and outstanding defense.
Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was an outstanding 1.171 ppp, significantly higher than the 0.922 ppp I predicted. On defense, Kentucky held Mississippi to an outstanding 0.690 ppp, substantially lower than the 0.852 ppp I predicted.
Based on this season's NCAA RPI Strength of Schedule and season performance, I predicted a six point Kentucky margin, 75- 69.
During the LSU game, Kentucky had a total of 76 possessions, nine of which resulted from offensive rebounds. Kentucky's 9 second chance possessions produced 18 second chance points. Kentucky's offensive efficiency for second chance possessions was a near perfect 2.000 ppp, significantly higher than Kentucky's first chance efficiency of 1.044 ppp, which in itself is noteworthy. LSU had a total of 84 possessions for the game, 17 of which were second chance possessions. LSU's second chance offensive efficiency was 0.765 ppp, which is greater than their first chance efficiency of 0.662 ppp.
Some have wondered whether the LSU game was Kentucky's best performance of the season. Today was the most efficient offensive performance of the year. Today was the 6th most efficient defensive performance of hte year. Today was the 2nd most powerful performance of the year.
Offensive efficiency today, 1.156 points per possession
Defensive efficiency today, 0.682 ppp
The power rating today was 169 percent
Was today the best overall performance of the year? That is subjective, but given the SEC competition, given LSU's recent SEC success, and given the names that dominate the above lists, I think today was Kentucky's strongest showing of the year.
Kentucky continues SEC conference play next Tuesday night against Tennessee in Knoxville.
Let's compare the teams as of January 23, 2005
Win-Loss Record 14 - 2 10 - 8
Based on each team's early performance with an adjustment for strength of schedule, I would make the following prediction based on data available 1/22/05 at 4 pm. I will update this prediction from time to time between now and game time as indicated by daily changes in the current Strength of Schedule factor.
UK 73 LSU 64