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Numbers favor West Virginia by 11

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

For the second week in a row, the Cats will be one of the teams featured on ESPN’s College Game Day. Last week, the Game Day Crew gathered at Rupp Arena when the Cats hosted the Gators. Tomorrow, the Game Day Crew will be in Morgantown, West Virginia when Kentucky visits for the Big12-SEC challenge.

Kentucky has played West Virginia 20 times, winning 15 and losing 5 times. Since 1971, these teams have played 5 times, with the Cats winning 4. The only modern loss to the Mountaineers was in the 2010 NCAA Regional Final (Elite 8) in Calipari’s first year at Kentucky. These teams have played twice in Morgantown. In 1941, the Cats fell to the Mountaineers by 12 and in 1971, the Cats got out of town with a 106-100 win.

#9 West Virginia brings a 16-4, 5-3 record into this game. After losing their season opener to #32 Texas A&M by 23 on a neutral court, the Mountaineers won their next 15 games, as they climbed into the top 10 ANE teams in the nation, and running off an early start 4-0 conference record. During this 15 game winning streak, West Virginia beat five top 50 teams, #4 Virginia by 7, #36 Missouri by 4, #33 Kansas State by 8, #18 Oklahoma by 13, and #42 Baylor by 3 points. Then, West Virginia hit on hard times losing 3 of their last 4 games. In this four game sequence, the Mountaineers lost at #10 Texas Tech, at home to #7 Kansas, and at #23 TCU. West Virginia’s only win in the last four games was over #41 Texas by 35 in Morgantown last Saturday.

West Virginia has played with an ANE of 0.265 ppp (#9) after having played a schedule strength of 0.059 ppp (#33).

The Cats are ranked #40 with an ANE of 0.173 ppp after having played a schedule with a schedule strength of 0.072 ppp (#18). The ANE analysis has the Mountaineers favored by 11 points, 79-68 in a game played at a pace of 77 possessions. Pomeroy has the Mountaineers favored by 8, 79-71 with a pace of 73 possessions.

Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:

You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:


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  1. My numbers favor WVU as well. They have a big, tough, dude in the middle, and we haven’t been able to handle that.

  2. Analysis:

    UK scored its 83 points on 68 possessions (1.221 ppp) for the game, and WEST VIRGINIA scored its 76 points on 66 possessions (1.152 ppp).

    Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 49-34, and Kentucky controlled the offensive glass 20-17. Kentucky used its 20 second chance possessions to score 26 second chance points, and WEST VIRGINIA used its 17 second chance possessions to score 14 second chance points. WEST VIRGINIA had an offensive efficiency of 0.939 ppp on its 66 first chance possessions and 0.824 ppp for its 17 second chance possessions. UK had 0.838 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.300 ppp on its 20 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 54.1% of its misses as offensive rebounds while WEST VIRGINIA was able to convert 37.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 23-29 [79.3%]. WEST VIRGINIA made 12-18 [66.7%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 26-58 overall [44.8%] and 8-18 from long range [44.4%]. For WEST VIRGINIA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 17-44 [38.6%] and from long range, WEST VIRGINIA hit 10-24 [41.7%].

    The Cats committed 16 turnovers, one for every 4.2 possessions. The Cats forced 6 WEST VIRGINIA turnovers, one for every 11.0 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Tuesday night against Vanderbilt in the first rematch of the season at Rupp Arena at 9:00 pm for the 22nd game of the season and the 9th SEC game of 2018

  3. The Cats grew up tonight I believe.

    1. Grew up big time.! Down 15 at the break, fight back to take the lead then hold that lead for the last 5 minutes of the game in an extremely hostile building. Grew up pretty much as Cal has said they might.
      Coach Mikey is in the corner sucking his thumb.

  4. And as much as I love numbers. They can’t predict this! ! ! That’s why they call them upsets!

    1. That’s exactly right. Upsets are a big part of the game, and occur in 25% of all college games.

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