BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
In late December, I wrote that the Cats and Cards play one of the most important games of the season for bragging rights for the next 12 months. Boy, was that wrong. Here we are 3 months to the day since that December 31, 2011 encounter for Cats and Cards, Take Two. But, this encounter is not for mere state wide bragging rights for the next few weeks, or even months.
This is for all the marbles.
First, the winner will play on Monday night for the 2012 National Championship, and second, the winner will deliver to its respective fan base the bragging rights for probably the next generation. Twenty nine years ago this past Monday the Cats and Cards met for the first time in Stokley in Knoxville, TN for a trip to the final four in 1983 and bragging rights that have endured to this very day. On Saturday night, the Cats can either set that record forever straight, or the Big Blue Nation must endure another 20 to 30 years.
That is all that is at stake in this improbable meeting of two programs that saying “hate” one another is a woefully inadequate summation.
http://bigbluefans4uk.com/BBF4UKPages/UKBBHISTORYUKvUL.htm Read about the history of this “Rivalry” at this link.
I do not intend to recount any of the records of either team in anticipation of this game. Rather, I encourage you to visit the link, reminisce about the history, and know that the NGE analysis predicts, for what it is worth under these circumstances, an 8 point UK win over the Cards, 71-63. However, if there is ever an instance in which you can throw the records out the window, this is it.
Coach Calipari uses his usual starting lineup with Darius Miller taking the 6 th man role for the game. Sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb along with the three freshmen Marquis Teague, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Anthony Davis. Kidd-Gilchrist will be the #6 man with Eloy Vargas, Kyle Wiltjer and Twany Beckham coming off the bench. However, Coach Calipari has not used Vargas or Beckham in recent games, and has played with a 7-player rotation.
The Cards take the opening tip, and draw first blood. However, the Cats convert on their first 4 trips, 2 drives by Teague, a baseline jumper by Lamb, and a fast break basket by Lamb off a blocked shot to race out to an early 8-2 lead, forcing Pitino to call a quick timeout with 17:34 to play in the first half. Out of the timeout, the Cards miss again, but when the Cats fail on their first 3 point attempt the Cards get a long rebound and a run out basket to stop the Kentucky run at 8 points. Following another Teague jumper, Louisville gets a loose ball offensive rebound, and scores at the under 16 media timeout to trim the lead to 4 points, 10-6. Louisville will be shooting a free throw after the timeout.
Kuric missed the free throw, and the Cats score 6 straight to move on top by 10 points, 16-6, but Louisville responded with back to back baskets of their own to trim the lead to 6 points. The Cats close out the scoring in a prolonged second segment, and have the ball when play resumes following the under 12 media timeout with 9:58 to play in the first half. Out of the timeout, Miller makes both free throws, and the teams trade baskets to the under 8 media timeout and the Cats holding a 10 point lead, 22-12. Louisville will have the ball when play resumes.
In the 4 th segment, the Cats and Cards traded baskets to toggle the lead between 8 and 10 points until a Lamb turnover gave Louisville a run out basket to trim the lead back to 6 points, 26-20, prompting Coach Calipari to call a timeout with 3:41 to play in the first half. Out of the timeout, Lamb goes right at the Louisville center for a basket and he will have a free throw after the under 4 media timeout to complete the 3 point play. After Louisville cuts the Kentucky lead that was 10 points on three occasions to only 3 points, 31-28, the Cats score the final 4 points of the first half to take a 7 point lead, 35-28, to the locker room.
UK scored its 35 points in 34 possessions [1.029 points per possession] for the half, and LOUISVILLE scored its 28 points on 35 possessions [0.800 ppp]. LOUISVILLE won the boards in the first half, 16-14 in total rebounds, LOUISVILLE controlled the offensive rebounds 7-1. LOUISVILLE won the battle for second chance points 7-2. LOUISVILLE had an offensive efficiency of 0.600 ppp on its 35 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 7 second chance possessions. UK had 0.971 ppp on its 34 first chance possessions and 2.000 ppp on its 1 second chance possession. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a low 10.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LOUISVILLE was able to convert 35.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 4 for 5 free throws in the first half [80.0%]. LOUISVILLE was 3-5 [60.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 15-25 overall [60.0%] and 1-5 from long range [20.0%]. For LOUISVILLE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 11-29 [37.9%] and from long range, LOUISVILLE hit 1-3 [33.3%].
The Cats committed 8 turnovers, one for every 4.2 possessions. The Cats forced 9 LOUISVILLE turnovers, one for every 3.9 possessions.
Kentucky opens the second half with a miss by Kidd-Gilchrist, and Louisville drains a 3 pointer in transition at the other end to trim the lead to 4 pints. The Cats get their first basket from Lamb, and Louisville counters with 1 of 2 free thows to hang close at 5 points down. When Kidd-Gilchrist can't find an open Cat, he is forced to call a timeout to preserve the possession with 18:42 to play in the game. Out of the timeout, Miller makes a 10 foot jump shot, Davis a jump hook from the baseline, and a Miller steal and dunk extends the Kentucky lead to 11 points, 43-32 forcing a Louisville timeout with 16:44 to play.
Out of the timeout, the Cats convert another Louisville miss into a pair of Davis free throws to extend the lead to 13 points, and the run to 8-0 before Louisville stops the run with an offensive rebound basket by Kuric. Davis is fouled again at the under 16 media timeout with the Cats up by 11 points, 45-34. After Davis makes 1 of 2 free throws, to ease up by 12 points, 46-34, Louisville goes on an 8 point run of its own, to cut the lead to 4 points, 46-42, forcing Coach Calipari to call another time out with 11:23 to play. Out of the timeout, the Cats turn the ball over again, but Louisville fails in its chance to cut further into the lead, and after a Louisville miss, Davis gets a rare Kentucky offensive rebound and put back basket to extend the lead back to 6 points, 48-42, at the under 12 media timeout and 10:19 to play. After the timeout, Louisville will be shooting a pair of free throws.
Louisville catches up at 49-49 on a Siva 3 pointers, but the Cats responds with back to back baskets by Kidd-Gilchrist to ease the Cats back on top by 4 points, 53-49, prompting a Louisville timeout with 7:55 to play in the game. In the segment, the Cats and Cards trade baskets and 2 and 4 points leads until Miller drains a 3 pointer to push the Cats up by 7 points, 58-51, prompting another Louisville timeout with 5:04 to play in the game. After the timeout, the Cards miss again, and Miller makes a pair of free throws to extend the Kentucky lead to 9 points, 60-51, at the under 4 media timeout and 3:37 to play in the game.
In the final segment, the teams trade scores and Louisville trims the lead to 7 points, and at one point missed a free throw that would have trimmed the lead to 4 points, but a slam by Davis put the Cats back on top by 7 points, with the ball with less than a minute to play. Louisville used its last timeout with 0:50 to play in the game. Cats win 69-61
UK scored its 69 points in 66 possessions [1.045 ppp] for the game, and LOUISVILLE scored its 61 points on 67 possessions [0.910 ppp].
LOUISVILLE won the battle of the boards, 40-33, and LOUISVILLE won the battle on the offensive glass 19-6. LOUISVILLE used their second chance possessions to win the second chance points battle 13-10. LOUISVILLE had an offensive efficiency of 0.716 ppp on its 67 first chance possessions and 0.684 ppp for its 19-second chance possessions. UK had 0.894 ppp on its 66 first chance possessions and 1.667 ppp on its 6 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a below average 22.2% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LOUISVILLE was able to convert 41.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game by making 11-20 [55.0%]. LOUISVILLE made 9-13 [69.2%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 28-49 overall [57.1%] and 2-7 from long range [28.6%]. For LOUISVILLE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 20-58 [34.5%] and from long range, LOUISVILLE hit 4-11 [36.4%].
The Cats committed 14 turnovers, one for every 4.7 possessions. The Cats forced 12 LOUISVILLE turnovers, one for every 5.6 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 8 point UK win, 71-63 at a pace of 64 possessions for UK and 64 possessions for LOUISVILLE. The final score was 69 (771) to 61 (63) at a pace of 66 possessions for the Cats and 67 possessions for LOUISVILLE. The Cats' offensive efficiency was 1.045 ppp (D+) and the Cats' defensive efficiency was 0.910 ppp (B-).
Next Game On Schedule: Monday in the National Championship game in New Orleans against the winner of the next semi-final game between Kansas and Ohio State.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks