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Numbers favor Kentucky by 9 points

John Calipari and Immanuel Quickley (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

Kentucky completed a successful road swing through Athens, Georgia and Auburn, Alabama with two impressive wins. After taking the DAWGS apart by 20, the Cats took down #10 Auburn by 2, handing Auburn their first home loss in quite some time.

These two games, however, are becoming the rule for this team rather than the rare exception. After the Seton Hall loss, the team had an ANE of 0.155 ppp, but in the since that 2 point loss to Seton Hall in overtime, this team has played 8 games with an average ANE of 0.336 ppp, and the quality of play over the last week has been above 0.41ppp for both games. This level of efficiency is sufficient to place this team in the hunt, come March.

Auburn, currently #9 (ANE) is the first of three consecutive top 25 opponents. The Cats will face #22 Mississippi State and #16 Kansas at Rupp on Tuesday and Saturday when ESPN’s College Game Day will broadcast from Lexington again.

Mississippi State enters this game with a 14-3 overall record, and 2-2 in the SEC. Mississippi State rolled through its non-conference schedule with a 12-1 record. The Bulldogs’ only non-conference loss was against #62 Arizona State by 5 points on a neutral court.

Among its most impressive non-conference wins are a 4 point win over #30 Saint Mary’s on a neutral court, and 11 point wins over #27 Cincinnati and #32 Wofford in Starkville. After their 12-1 non-conference start, the Bulldogs dropped their first two SEC games, at #120 South Carolina by 5 points and at home to #29 Mississippi by 4 points. Over the last week, Mississippi State won twice, over #23 Florida by 3 points and at #91 Vanderbilt by 16 points. The Bulldogs are 2-1 on the road this season and the Cats are undefeated at Rupp.

The Bulldogs’ schedule has a SOS value of 0.0477 ppp (#39). The Bulldogs’ ANE for the season stands at 0.202 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0,198 ppp.

The Cats’ schedule has a SOS value of 0.0408 ppp (#53). The Cats’ ANE for the season stands at 0.222 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.273 ppp.

The ANE (Last 5 game basis) analysis indicates a Kentucky margin of 9 points, 78-69, in a game played at a pace of 69 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates a 6-point Kentucky advantage (77-71). Pomeroy has this game as 6 points in Kentucky’s favor, 75-69, at a pace of 67 possessions.

Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:
http://bigbluefans4uk.com/2018-19DataandWritings/247_PREDICTIONS/18.htm

You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:
https://247sports.com/college/kentucky/Board/296/Contents/Mississippi-State-Prediction-Thread-128058339

2 comments

  1. How much longer must we suffer Dick Vitale???

  2. Analysis:

    UK scored its 76 points on 70 possessions (1.086 ppp) for the game, and MISSISSIPPI STATE scored its 55 points on 69 possessions (0.797 ppp).

    Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 43-36, but Mississippi State and Kentucky tied the battle on the offensive glass 15-15. Mississippi State won the second chance point battle 15-11. MISSISSIPPI STATE had an offensive efficiency of 0.580 ppp on its 69 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 15 second chance possessions. UK had 0.929 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 0.733 ppp on its 15 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 41.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MISSISSIPPI STATE was able to convert 34.9% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 16-22 (72.7%]. MISSISSIPPI STATE made 14-18 [77.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 26-59 overall [44.1%] and 8-16 from long range [50.0%]. For Mississippi State, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-41 [39.0%] and from long range, MISSISSIPPI STATE hit 3-20 [15.0%].

    The Cats committed 16 turnovers, one for every 4.4 possessions. The Cats forced 15 MISSISSIPPI STATE turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Saturday evening at Rupp for the nineteenth regular season game of the 2019 SEC season against Kansas.

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