By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer
Only in college basketball can a Wildcat consume the sweet dessert before the appetizers and entree. Other than the season opener against Michigan State, all opponents that have marched into Rupp Arena since early November have been cupcakes. Starting Saturday, when Georgia Tech will enter Rupp Arena to face the Cats, and for the rest of the season, the opponents are members of the elite college basketball conferences.
Following Saturday’s encounter with #130 Georgia Tech (ACC), the Cats will face #57 Utah (PAC 12), #1 Ohio State (Big 10), and #8 Louisville (ACC) before the football Cats will appear in the Belk Bowl against Virginia Tech. Then, the Basketball Cats move into SEC competition with a trip to Lubbock, Texas to face #36 Texas Tech. There are no more cupcakes on the menu for the 2019-20 Wildcats. It is now time to put a best foot forward.
#130 Georgia Tech (GT) has played seven games with a 4-3 record that includes 1-1 in early ACC play. The Yellow Jackets most impressive early win was at #53 N C State and Tech’s three losses have been at #86 Georgia by 4, against #22 Arkansas by 1 in OT, and against #41 Syracuse by 34 points the past Saturday. Georgia Tech enters this game with an ANE of 0.042 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.033 ppp.
The Cats bring a 7-1 records into this game with an ANE of 0.164 ppp against a schedule strength of -0.080 ppp.
Based on this data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 73 possessions with the Cats prevailing by 13 points, 75-62.