By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer
At the mid-point of the SEC season, the Cats are 1 game behind undefeated Tennessee, tied with LSU at 8-1. South Carolina fell to 6-3 with their loss to the Cats on Tuesday evening, and there are six SEC teams clustered in the middle with either 4 or 5 wins over the first 9 games. The Cats’ opponent on Saturday finds itself in this murky middle of the conference standings.
When the Cats and Bulldogs face off on Saturday, it will be the rematch for these teams following Kentucky’s 21 point mastery of Mississippi State at Rupp Arena on January 22. Since their first meeting, the Cats have extended their winning streak from 5 to 9 games while Mississippi State has split its four games, beating #10 Auburn by 8 points and #45 Mississippi by 6 points while losing at #52 Alabama and to #22 LSU by 4 in OT.
The Bulldogs schedule has a SOS value of 0.0824 ppp (#24). The Mississippi State ANE for the season stands at 0.192 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.172 ppp.
The Cats’ schedule has a SOS value of 0.0647 ppp (#39). The Cats’ ANE for the season stands at 0.289 ppp, their season ANE since game 7 has been 0.365 ppp, and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.442 ppp.
The ANE analysis based on Kentucky’s ANE since game 7 indicates a Kentucky margin of 7 points, 74-67, in a game played at a pace of 70 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates a 2-point Kentucky advantage (72-70), and a “last 5” analysis indicates a UK win by 15 points, 78-63. Pomeroy has this game as a 2 point Kentucky win, 72-70, at a pace of 67 possessions. Vegas has opened with the Cats a 3 point favorite over the Bulldogs.
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: