Kentucky Opened NCAA Play with A Weak First Round Performance In Defeating Eastern Kentucky by 8

Kentucky did little on the floor today to dispel the concerns about weaknesses exposed over the last 2 weeks by Florida.  Kentucky was outrebounded again, and Kentucky remained unable to hit the open three's and missed more dead layups than I can count.   Kentucky moved out to a comfortable 13 point lead in the first half, but a late surge by EKU closed the gap to 8 points at the half, 40 - 32.

The second half saw these team play dead even, 32 - 32 for the final 8 point margin of victory for the Cats.  The effort that Kentucky has been giving today, and against Florida will not be adequate for the Cats to advance beyond either Iowa or Cincinnati in the next game of the tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Eastern Kentucky continued to demonstrate and highlight Kentucky's rebounding woes.  While outrebounding Kentucky tonight by 4, offensive rebounding was about equal.  Free throw shooting improved for Kentucky today, but at 18 - 26, Kentucky still failed to shoot free throws above a 70% pace. 

Kentucky grabbed 10 offensive rebounds and Eastern Kentucky pulled down 10 offensive rebounds.  Kentucky had a total of 78 possessions, including 10 second chance possessions, while EKU had 82 possessions, 10 from offensive rebounds.  Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was 0.935, slightly above the season average, and almost identical to the 0.937 I predicted for this game.  Kentucky's defense held EKU to 0.780 ppp slightly better than the 0.785 ppp I predicted

Based on Season performance of both teams, as well as their schedule strength for this year, I predicted a 12 point Kentucky win, 75 - 63.

Kentucky's lack luster performance today resulted in a win, and they advance to the NCAA Second Round on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis.  They will play the winner of the Cincinnati [#7] v Iowa [#10]



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