BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2010-11 Season Analytical Writings
Just when it appeared that the 2011 Revenge Tour had run its course and the 2011 Season would run out its course in the NCAA with yet another season ending loss to Ohio State, the Cats stepped up front and center and proclaimed, “WE ARE NOT DONE!!!!.” On Friday night, the Kentucky Wildcats avenged five previous NCAA Tournament losses to Ohio State on behalf of their brothers from generations past, and advance to Sunday's East Regional Final, the NCAA's Elite 8 for the second year in a row under Coach Calipari's leadership. On Sunday, the 2011 Revenge Tour will continue as the opponent will be the North Carolina Tarheels, the same Tarheels that handed this team a 2 point loss in December in Chapel Hill.
The Cats have now won 9 in a row during their 2011 Revenge Tour, and 11 of their last 12 games. The Basketball Gods have given this team yet another opportunity to avenge the only remaining 2 point road loss from the regular season, and these Cats are poised to get it done. They will get their chance on another one of the NCAA's biggest and brightest stages, the Elite 8 for the privilege of a trip to the Final Four next Saturday.
NORTH CAROLINA has played 36 games posting a 29-7; 16-3 record on way to the ACC regular season championship before losing to Duke in the ACC Tournament's Championship Game. Since defeating the Cats on December 4, NORTH CAROLINA's other 3 losses came on a semi-home court to #4 Texas by 2 and on the road at #89 Georgia Tech by 20 and at #3 Duke by 6.
NORTH CAROLINA played these games at an average pace of about 73 to 74 possessions, averaging 77.8 ppg and allowing 68.6 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 1.055 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.937 ppp. NORTH CAROLINA's turnover rate has been 18.1% while they have forced turnovers at a 19.5% rate. On the Boards, NORTH CAROLINA's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 37.3% and 69.8% respectively.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first thirty opponents produced about 67 possessions, and a score of 75.4 to 63.5 ppg for efficiencies of 1.128 ppp and 0.949 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. UK's turnover rate is 15.9% but UK only forced turnovers at a 17.8% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 34.6% and 69.2% at the offensive and defensive ends.
Kentucky's current Pomeroy SOS value is 0.7578 while NORTH CAROLINA's is 0.7861
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 70 possessions for the Cats and 70 possessions for the Tarheels, with the Cats winning for the twenty-ninth time this season by 4 points, 73-69. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.043 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.986 ppp.
Coach Calipari continues with the starting lineup that has led this team down the stretch run of the regular season, and into post season play with Knight, Liggins, Miller, Jones, and Harrellson. Lamb will be first off the bench and Vargas will probably get enough minutes to rest Harrellson during the game.
UNC takes the opening tip and scores first, and after a pair of Harrellson free throws ties the score, UNC eases back up by a pair before the Cats run 7 straight to take a 5 point lead, 9-4. The Cats lead 11-6 at the under 16 TV timeout with UNC in possession of the ball following a charging foul on Lamb. In the second segment, UNC catches up at 13-13, but the Cats close the segment with 5 straight of their own to take a 18-13 lead at the under 12 TV timeout, and UNC set to shoot a pair of free throws when play resumes. The early pace is very fast, about 80 possessions through the first 8 minutes, but the Cats have managed to put up 18 points on their 16 possessions while holding UNC to 13 points on 16 possessions. UNC holds an edge on the offensive glass, 4-1, but the teams are tied on second chance points, 2-2. UNC has committed one more turnover than the Cats, 4-3.
In the third segment, the Cats ride Josh Harrellson's play to a 7 point lead, 25-18 at the under 8 TV timeout with 6:39 to play in the first half. On the last play, Hinson picked up his 3 rd foul on a Kentucky break following UNC's 6 th turnover. Harrellson will be shooting a pair when play resumes. In the fourth segment, the teams traded baskets and the Cats maintained a 6 point lead, 33-27 at the under 4 TV timeout, and Zeller will be shooting a free throw to complete a 3 point play after the timeout.
In the final segment, after UNC closes to within 3 points, 33-30, the Cats close out the scoring in the first half with a 5 point run to take an 8 point lead, 38-30 at the half.
UK scored its 38 points with 35 possessions for the half, and NORTH CAROLINA scored its 30 points on 36 possessions. NORTH CAROLINA won the rebounding battle, 20-17, and NORTH CAROLINA won the battle of the offensive rebounds 6-4. However, Kentucky won the second chance points 7-4. NORTH CAROLINA had an offensive efficiency of 0.722 ppp on its 36 first chance possessions and 0.667 ppp on its 6 second chances. Kentucky had an efficiency of 0.886 ppp on its 35 first chance possessions and 1.750 ppp on its 4 second chance possession. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 22.2% of its misses as offensive rebounds while NORTH CAROLINA was able to convert 31.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 4 of its 4 free throws in the first half [100.0%]. NORTH CAROLINA hit 12-15 [80.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 12-27 overall [44.4%] and 2-9 from long range [22.2%]. For NORTH CAROLINA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 6-20 [30.0%] and from long range, NORTH CAROLINA hit 2-6 [33.3%].
The Cats committed 6 turnovers, one for every 5.8 possessions. The Cats forced 9 Tarheel turnovers, one for every 4.0 possessions.
The Cats open the second half with back to back turnovers allowing UNC to quickly trim the UK lead to 6 points, prompting a quick Kentucky timeout with 19:07 to play in the game. Out of the timeout, the Cats turn it over for the third straight possession of the second half. The Heels trim the lead to 4 points, 38-34, but a 3 pointer by Liggins, a 3 pointer by Miller, and a 3 point play by Miller following an offensive rebound propelled the Cats out to their first double digit lead of the game, 11 points, 47-36, at the under 16 TV timeout with 15:40 to play in the game. In the prolonged second segment, the Cats lead ranged from 6 to 9 points, and stands at 7 points, 56-49 at the under 12 TV timeout with 10:16 to play in the game and UNC in possession following the Cats' 4 th turnover of the segment, and 7 th turnover of the half.
In the shortened third segment, UNC trimmed the UK lead to only 4 points on 3 for 4 shooting compared to only 1 for 4 shooting by the Cats. At the under 8 TV timeout, the Cats lead 59-55 with 7:43 to play, and the Cats with the ball. In the fourth segment, UNC uses back to back 3 point plays and their 3 rd 3 pointer of the game to trim the lead to 2 points, 65-63 at the under 4 TV timeout with 3:18 to play, and Zeller to get 2 free throws when play resumes.
Zeller makes both to tie the score, and Knight puts the Cats back up by 3 points with a 3 pointer, the Cats' 11 th of the game. However, after the Cats missed a chance to extend the lead with a 3 point attempt at the end of the shot clock, UNC got a run out basket to trim the lead back to 1 point with 1:46 to play. On the next possession, Knight is fouled and he missed the first of the bonus. However, UNC did not take advantage of their opportunity, and Brandon Knight made them pay at the line. The Cats win by 7, 76-69.
UK scored its 76 points on 68 possessions for the game, and NORTH CAROLINA scored its 69 points on 69 possessions.
NORTH CAROLINA won the battle of the boards, 36-34 on total rebounds NORTH CAROLINA won the offensive rebounds, 11-9. However, Kentucky was also able to convert its offensive rebounds into a 4 point advantage with second chance points, 16-12. NORTH CAROLINA had an offensive efficiency of 0.826 ppp on its 69 first chance possessions and 1.091 ppp for its 11 second chance possessions. UK had 0.882 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.778 ppp on its 9 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 26.5% of its misses as offensive rebounds while NORTH CAROLINA was able to convert 30.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit very well enough from the free throw line hitting 10-16 [62.5%]. NORTH CAROLINA made 12-15 [80.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 27-56 overall [48.2%] and 12-22 from long range [54.5%]. For NORTH CAROLINA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 24-46 [52.2%] and from long range, NORTH CAROLINA hit 3-16 [18.8%].
The Cats committed 14 turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions. The Cats forced 13 NORTH CAROLINA turnovers, one for every 5.3 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 4 point UK loss, 73-69 at a pace of 70 possessions for UK and 70 possessions for NORTH CAROLINA. The final score was 76 (73) to 69 (69) at a pace of 68 possessions for the Cats and 69 possessions for NORTH CAROLINA. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.118 (B-) and the UK defensive efficiency was 1.000 ppp (C).
Next Game On Schedule: The Cats will play in the NCAA Tournament Final 4 against Connecticut on Saturday, April 2, 2011.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks