EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kentucky Withstands Florida's Bid
Florida appeared to be in total control of the basketball against Kentucky tonight in Rupp Arena. At least that is until Florida players became rattled by the defensive pressure that triggered a Kentucky 13 - 2 run midway through the second half. Kentucky briefly grabbed its first lead, but Florida immediately responded with a five point mini-run of its own. However, Kentucky regained control, recaptured the lead for good, and preserved this hard fought victory at the free throw line down the stretch. Kentucky defeats a likely NCAA Tournament team on the Rupp floor 69 - 66.
After an unusually weak rebounding performance on Saturday against Vanderbilt, Kentucky reasserted itself as the conference's strongest rebounding team. Kentucky outrebounded Florida 34 - 27, and 10 - 7 on the offensive boards.
Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was an average 0.920 ppp, slightly higher than the 0.864 ppp I predicted. On defense, Kentucky held Florida to 0.892 ppp, slightly higher than the 0.866 ppp I predicted.
Based on this season's NCAA RPI Strength of Schedule and season performance, I predicted a one point Kentucky margin, 71 - 70.
During the Florida game, Kentucky had a total of 75 possessions, ten of which resulted from offensive rebounds. Kentucky's 10 second chance possessions produced 5 second chance points. Kentucky's offensive efficiency for second chance possessions was 0.500 ppp, significantly lower than Kentucky's first chance efficiency of 0.970 ppp. Florida had a total of 74 possessions for the game, 7 of which were second chance possessions. Florida's second chance offensive efficiency was 0.714 ppp, which is much lower than their first chance efficiency of 0.910 ppp.
Kentucky stays at Rupp Arena Saturday, February 12, 2005 for a game against Georgia.
Let's compare the teams as of February 8, 2005
Win-Loss Record 18 - 2 7 - 12
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 73 Georgia 62