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Numbers favor Kentucky by 2 over Vols

Tyler Herro enjoyed UK’s win over Tennessee in Rupp Arena. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

They have played twice, on each team’s home court, and the home team had its own way against the visitor each time. Now, these two giants of the this SEC season will collide in the SEC Tournament’s Semifinals to determine which of them will earn a #1 seed in next week’s NCAA tournament and which will settle for a #2 seed. The stakes have not been higher than this in an SEC Tournament since perhaps the wars between Pitino’s Cats and Richardson’s Hogs in the 1990s.

This is a game that should have occurred in the SEC Championship game, and but for a missed basket interference call that enabled LSU’s upset of the Cats at Rupp Arena, that is exactly where this collision would have occurred.

The Cats regained the services of Reid Travis in their Quarterfinal 18 point win over Alabama, and with Reid’s return to the floor, the Cats also saw a return to the 0.4+ game ANE values that had been conspicuously absent since Reid had to sit due to a knee sprain about 6 games ago. This bodes well for the Cats’ chances because other than the change of venues that occurred between the Cats’ 17 point win over the Vols at Rupp and the Vols 19 point win over the Cats at TBA, the biggest change was the presence then absence of Reid Travis from the competition.

#7 Tennessee enters this game with a 28-4 record. The Volss’ schedule has a SOS value of 0.0917 ppp (#42). The Tennessee’s ANE for the season stands at 0.291 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.379 ppp.
The Cats’ schedule has a SOS value of 0.1053 ppp (#25). The Cats’ ANE for the season stands at 0.283 ppp, their season ANE since game 7 has been 0.328 ppp, and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.249 ppp.

The ANE analysis based on Kentucky’s ANE since game 7 indicates a Kentucky margin of 2 point, 74-72, in a game played at a pace of 68 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates an ½ point Tennessee advantage and a “last 5” analysis indicates a Tennessee an advantage of 9 points.

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:


  1. We have an 8 point lead with 2:58 to go and lose by 4??? This team is not mentally tough when it matters. PJ plays one half AGAIN, that was the difference. PJ has to understand that he can’t get in foul trouble but he is a foul magnet. I am sorry, but PJ needs to stay one more year to learn how to play without fouling. He will never make it in the NBA playing like he does now.

  2. Analysis:

    UK scored its 78 points on 64 possessions (1.219 ppp) for the game, and TENNESSEE scored its 82 points on 64 possessions (1.281 ppp).

    Kentucky won the battle of the boards 32-28, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive boards with a rebounding edge 11-10. Kentucky and Tennessee each scored 13 second chance points. TENNESSEE had an offensive efficiency of 1.078 ppp on its 64 first chance possessions and 1.300 ppp for its 10 second chance possessions. UK had 1.016 ppp on its 64 first chance possessions and 1.182 ppp on its 11 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 37.9% of its misses as offensive rebounds while TENNESSEE was able to convert 32.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK made 13-19 (68.4%) from the free throw line in this game. TENNESSEE made 20-25 [80.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 30-56 overall [53.6%] and 5-11 from long range [45.5%]. For TENNESSEE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-35 [45.7%] and from long range, TENNESSEE hit 10-21 [47.6%].

    The Cats committed 11 turnovers, one for every 5.8 possessions. The Cats forced 6 TENNESSEE turnovers, one for every 10.7 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: The Cats head home and wait for the NCAA selection committee to announce the seedings and matchups for the NCAA Tournament that begins next week.

  3. Great information to help me enjoy the replay…thanks so much for taking time
    to type it out…I can’t type a lick anymore-like a loose lug nut on a wobbly wheel.

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