EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
PRESENTATION FORMATS

Kentucky Wins the SEC Regular Season Championship For 43rd Time


Alabama and Kentucky have played all but three of their regular season games and established themselves as the top two teams in the SEC for the 2005 season.  Today, they met head to head in Tuscaloose, Alabama for their only regular season game.  Going into the game, Kentucky was up two full games over Alabama in the all important loss column, and Alabama needed to defeat Kentucky to have any chance to prevail as the champions.  However, Kentucky overcame a 14 point first half deficit, a 7 point halftime deficit, and a 10 point second half deficit to defeat Alabama 78 - 71 and lock up another SEC regular season title, their 43rd. 

Kentucky was outrebounded by Alabama today, continuing the Cats lackluster board work of the last 3 weeks. However, Kentucky made 70 percent of its second half shots, including a total of 13 of 19 from behind the arc for the game to overcome the rebounding deficit. 

Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was an astoundingly high 1.164 ppp, the highest such performance by Kentucky this entire season, and significantly above the 0.912 ppp I predicted against a very strong Alabama defense.  However, Kentucky needed every single ounce of this offensive effort because Alabama produced 1.000 ppp for the game, which is the highest efficiency posted by any Kentucky opponent this season . The previous high by an opponent was 0.974 ppp by South Carolina when they handed Kentucky its third defeat of the season.  Alabama's efficiency is substantially higher than the 0.886 ppp I predicted. 

Based on Season performance of both teams, as well as their schedule strength for this year, I predicted an 1point Kentucky Win, 71 - 70.

During the Alabama game, Kentucky had a total of 67 possessions, four of which resulted from offensive rebounds.  Kentucky's 4 second chance possessions produced 6 second chance points. Kentucky's offensive efficiency for second chance possessions was 1.500 ppp, significantly higher than Kentucky's first chance efficiency of 1.143 ppp.  Alabama had a total of 71 possessions for the game, 8 of which were second chance possessions, producing 11 second chance points. State's second chance offensive efficiency was 1.375 ppp, which is significantly higher than their first chance efficiency of 0.952 ppp.

Kentucky returns to Rupp for its final home game of the year, and its traditional senior night against Tennessee.   

Let's compare the teams as of February 26, 2005

                       UK            Tennessee

Win-Loss Record         22 - 3          12 - 15
Offensive Efficiency    0.917           0.912   Points per Poss
Defensive Efficiency    0.767         0.889     ppp
Net Game Efficiency   0.150          0.023     ppp
RPI Ranking, 1/10/04   11               134
RPI SOS, 1/10/04       0.5529        0 .5613

Based on each team's early performance with an adjustment for strength of schedule, I would make the following prediction based on data available 2/20/05 at 11 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  72  Tennessee 66
                 See details Below

    
        
Kentucky
Tennessee
Points
72.2
66.1
FGM
26
24
FGA
45.6%
57
54
43.8%
3PTM
7
7
3PTA
35.7%
19
19
34.7%
FTM
14
12
FTA
66.2%
20
18
69.0%
TO
6.01
13
16
4.93
REB
37
33
Possessions
80
79
PPP
0.899
0.841
    

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Copyright 2004 Richard Cheeks
All Rights Reserved