EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kentucky Continues to Dominate the SEC, Finishing the First Half of Season Undefeated
Kentucky could take solice in the fact that over the last 30 years, they have won 23 times in Nashville, Tennessee against the home standing Vanderbilt Commodores. Today was no different, as Kentucky sprinted to a 7 - 0 lead, and after Vanderbilt pulled to within 3 points at 11 - 8, Kentucky owned the game. Kentucky set the tone of this game by forcing Vanderbilt into 20 turnovers, while only committing nine of their own, five of which came in the last 10 minutes after the outcome was secure.
Vanderbilt scored a total of 70 points on its 59 scoring opportunities displaying an outstanding efficiency when they did not turn the possession over without a shot at the basket. However, the 20 turnovers, one TO for every great first possession defensive effort. Kentucky scored 68 points on only 54 scoring opportunities, displaying a very efficient offensive performance, when not commiting a turn over. However, Vanderbilt turned the ball over once for every 4 possessions in the game.
Kentucky lost the battle of the boards to Vanderbilt for the second game in a row after Arkansas outrebounded the cats last Saturday. Vanderbilt out rebounded the Cats 37 - 33. However, on the offensive boards, Kentucky won the battle 13 to 10.
Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was an impressive 1.024 ppp, much higher than the 0.866 ppp I predicted. On defense, Kentucky held Vanderbilt to only 0.886 ppp, noticeably higher than the 0.842 ppp I predicted.
Based on this season's NCAA RPI Strength of Schedule and season performance, I predicted a nine point Kentucky margin, 70- 66.
During the Vanderbilt game, Kentucky had a total of 82 possessions, thirteen of which resulted from offensive rebounds. Kentucky's 13 second chance possessions produced 12 second chance points. Kentucky's offensive efficiency for second chance possessions was 0.923 ppp, significantly lower than Kentucky's first chance efficiency of 1.027 ppp. Vanderbilt had a total of 79 possessions for the game, 10 of which were second chance possessions. Arkansas' second chance offensive efficiency was 1.700 ppp, which is much greater than their first chance efficiency of 0.757 ppp.
Kentucky returns to Rupp Arena Tuesday, February 8, 2005 for an important game against one of its two principal challengers in 2005, the Florida Gators.
Let's compare the teams as of February 5, 2005
Win-Loss Record 17 - 2 13 - 5
Based on each team's early performance with an adjustment for strength of schedule, I would make the following prediction based on data available 1/25/05 at 9 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 71 Florida 69