Kentucky Opens SEC Tournament Play
With 76 - 62 Victory Over Scrappy Tennessee

The last time Tennessee and Kentucky met in an SEC Tournament game, Kentucky embarrassed the Volunteers.  At the intermission tonight, it appeared that this would be a repeat performance.  However, the second half told a different story, as Tennessee outscored Kentucky 19 - 10 in the first 5 minutes to cut Kentucky's 18 point halftime lead in half.  The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the game until Kentucky closed the door at the free throw line in the final 2 minutes to establish the final 14 point margin.

Kentucky outrebounded Tennessee tonight by 5,   Kentucky grabbed 10 offensive rebounds and Tennessee pulled down 7 offensive rebounds.  Kentucky had a total of 80 possessions, including 10 second chance possessions, while Tennessee had 75 possessions, 7 from offensive rebounds.  Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was an impressive 0.950 ppp, above their season average and the 0.895 ppp I predicted against the Tennessee defense.  Kentucky's defense held Tennessee to 0.827 ppp, slightly below the 0.837 ppp I predicted. 

Based on Season performance of both teams, as well as their schedule strength for this year, I predicted a 5 point Kentucky win, 71 - 66

Kentucky advances to the SEC Semi-final and will play the winner of the LSU/Auburn game.



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Copyright 2004 Richard Cheeks
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