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Numbers favor Texas Tech by 3 over Cats

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

Last season, the Red Raiders rode an ANE of over 0.30 points per possession all the way to the championship game where they fell to Virginia in OT. The 2019-20 version of the Red Raiders is not even close to the same team as a year ago. The current Texas Tech record is 12-6, 3-3 in the Big 12 with an ANE of about 0.19 ppp

Last season, Kentucky rode an ANE of over 0.28 points per possession all the way to the Elite Eight where they fell to Auburn in OT. The 2019-20 version of the Cats is not even close to the same team as a year ago. The current Kentucky record is 14-4, 5-1 in the SEC with an ANE of about 0.20 ppp.

Tonight these teams meet in Lubbock for the annual SEC-Big 12 Challenge.

As the number indicate, these teams would have matched up quite well last year even though their paths did not cross in the tournament. However, their respective numbers for the current season also match up quite well, and on Saturday, their paths do collide in Lubbock.

Texas Tech opened the 2019-20 season with 5 wins against an assortment of weak sisters of the poor. Then reality set in with three losses in a row to #20 Iowa by 11, to #44 Creighton by 7, and to #63 Depaul by 5. Then the Red Raiders played one of their strongest games of the year, beating #10 Louisville by 13 and after three more cupcake wins beat #90 Oklahoma State by 35 in their strongest single game of the season. That success was short lived as Texas Tech fell to #6 Baylor by 5 and to #9 West Virginia by 12. The Red Raiders suffered their 6th loss of the season this week, losing to #60 TCU by 11.

Texas Tech’s current ANE is an 0.190 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.032 ppp and a tempo of 69.7 possessions per game. The Cats bring an ANE of 0.204 ppp into this game having played a schedule strength of 0.024 ppp at a tempo of 70.2 possessions per game.

Based on this data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 70 possessions with the Cats losing by 3 points, 67-70.


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  1. Hi Richards, just got a question what’s your record as far being right and wrong on your predictions of the games. Nor knocking on you it seems the cats has won more than when you pick them to lose. Just curious!

  2. UK scored its 76 points on 78 possessions (0.974 ppp) for the game, and TEXAS TECH scored its 74 points on 77 possessions (0.961 ppp).

    Kentucky won the battle of the boards 38-32, and Texas Tech fought back in the second half on the offensive glass to tie Kentucky 10-10 which produced a 14-13 advantage on second chance points for the Cats. TEXAS TECH had an offensive efficiency of 0.792 ppp on its 77 first chance possessions and 1.300 ppp for its 10 second chance possessions. UK had 0.795 ppp on its 78 first chance possessions and 1.400 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 31.3%of its misses as offensive rebounds while TEXAS TECH was able to convert 26.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 21-25 [84.0%]. TEXAS TECH made 17-23 [73.9%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 24-55 overall [43.6%] and 7-15 from long range [46.7%]. For Texas Tech, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 24-45 [53.3%] and from long range, TEXAS TECH hit 3-19 [15.8%].

    The Cats committed 20 turnovers, one for every 3.9 possessions. The Cats forced 13 TEXAS TECH turnovers, one for every 5.9 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Tuesday evening against Vanderbilt at Rupp in the Cats’ twentieth regular season game and the 7th game of the 2020 SEC season

  3. Awesome win in an extremely hostile environment. 15 turnovers by our guards almost cancelled out Nicks impressive double/double. That number has to come down. I have never liked floating tear drop shots, there are too many teams running under and getting charge calls. Why not just pull up off the dribble and take a 10 footer and avoid the charge? What has gotten into Tyrese? His game has really fallen off lately. We won this game with 2 guys clicking. If we can get 4 guys going consistently, we will be a tough game for anyone. After all is said and done, we don’t win this game if Immanuel doesn’t make that buzzer beater from half court. Maybe that was the basketball gods leveling the playing field from the stripes.

    1. Basketball Gods usually even out. Giveth and taketh both


    I strive to be as transparent with my work as possible, and everything I do, and the basis for it is explained at the website. The link above is the gateway to the 2019-20 season, and everything about this season is there for those interested.

  5. Cats79 posed an important question about upsets, the weaker team in a game defeats the stronger team. When my predicted winner loses, then that game is an upset by definition.

    The data for my predicted winner and loser during the Calipari Era is as follows (2010 through 2019, but not 2020 is only about 1/2 finished):

    Average Predicted Win-Loss Record: 32.6 – 5.0
    Actual Win-Loss Record: 30.5 – 7.1
    Average Number of Games per season Predicted as Wins but Ended As Losses: 4.2 (Upset Losses)
    Average Number of Games per season Predicted as Losses but Ended as Wins: 2.2 (Upset Wins)

    For these 10 seasons, there were 376 games, and my system predicted the winner correctly 83% of the time. Of the 17% misses (64 games), 11.2% were upset losses for the Cats, and 5.8% were upset wins for the Cats.

    There is a natural, and predictable imbalance between these two types of upsets for teams like Kentucky. Kentucky has been near the top for most of these 10 years, and teams ranked high do not have as many opportunities to get upset wins while the vast majority of games can only end with a win, as predicted, or an upset loss. That is why teams like Kentucky primarily experience upset losses and rarely have opportunities to get upset wins.

    One last point about upsets in college basketball. Upsets occur when the stronger team in a game loses to the weaker team in the game. The average upset rate for all of college basketball has been about 25 to 26%, year after year, and UK’s upset rate during this 10 year period has been 17%.

    Anyone wanting more information about upsets, patterns of upsets, upset rates, etc. just pose your questions and I will respond based on my data.

    I have similar data extending back into the Pitino years.

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