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Processing the Numbers, Basketball Edition | Kentucky Wildcats Redux

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The Tide's consolation prize from a tough home loss is a trip to Rupp Arena. Oh, joy.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

RPI information courtesy of CBS Sports.
BPI information courtesy of ESPN.
All other statistics are courtesy of KenPom.com, Ken Pomeroy’s outstanding basketball analytics site.

So, how’d last game go?

This is starting to get real tiresome, isn’t it[1]? For the second time in six days and the fourth time this season, the Tide dropped a one-possession game they easily could have won. UF started out strong, riding contributions from Eli Carter and Chris Walker of all people, limiting the Tide to just 22 points in the first half while scoring 35 themselves. The Gators proceeded to come out of the break flat as a pancake, practically begging for the Tide to blow them out of the water. Over the first 10 minutes of the half, Florida managed just 4 points, and only started scoring again once the Tide pulled within 3. Eventually the game was tied at 50 with 2 minutes left, but the Tide were unable to score those last few points, while Dorian Finney-Smith awoke from his game-long slumber to make the difference at the end of the game[2]. In what’s rapidly becoming a recurring nightmare, the Tide had the ball out of a timeout with 17 seconds left, but a completely punchless offensive set produced an awkward Levi Randolph floater attempt that had no chance of going in — real hard to watch.

1 | No, not my articles. Jerk.

2 | If that sounds familiar, it’s because the same thing happened with Bobby Portis against Arkansas.

For a more in-depth, qualitative review of the game, check out Roger_RBR's astonishing game recap[3].

3 | Roger actually wasn’t absurdly optimistic. Seriously! Go read!

The Four Factors

The Four Factors
Metric ALABAMA FLORIDA
eFG% 45.7% 48.9%
TO% 29.8% 28.1%
OR% 38.7% 33.3%
FTR 26.1% 19.6%
Win Index 40 39

Florida won the two big factors, but the Tide won the two smaller ones to such a degree the Win Index margin came out in favor of ‘Bama. That just underscores how this game was there for the taking. The shooting figure is particularly disappointing, as it was the Tide’s fourth-lowest output of the season. They even shot better against Kentucky — the nation’s best defensive team — than they did against the Gators.

Wait, aren’t you supposed to be previewing something, nerd?

Right! Next up, the Alabama Crimson Tide head to bourbon country for a rematch with the Kentucky Wildcats. The game is on Saturday, January 31st, at 6 PM CST / 7 PM EST, and will be televised on SEC Network and WatchESPN.com.

The Goods

Overall Quality
KENTUCKY ALABAMA THE EDGE
RPI 0.7037 (2) RPI 0.5682 (63) KENTUCKY
BPI 94.9 (1) BPI 72.2 (57) KENTUCKY
PYTH 0.9841 (1) PYTH 0.8066 (44) KENTUCKY
Luck 0.06 (67) Luck -0.011 (205) KENTUCKY

Efficiency Ratings
KENTUCKY ALABAMA THE EDGE
OE+ 114.6 (17) DE+ 93.7 (44) KENTUCKY
DE+ 80.1 (1) OE+ 106.1 (81) KENTUCKY
T+ 63.3 (280) T+ 63.4 (276) PUSH

Schedule Ratings
KENTUCKY ALABAMA THE EDGE
Sched. PYTH 0.6333 (31) Sched. PYTH 0.6257 (36) KENTUCKY
Opp. OE+ 105 (12) Opp. OE+ 104.5 (20) KENTUCKY
Opp. DE+ 100.1 (90) Opp. DE+ 100 (78) PUSH
NCS PYTH 0.5697 (94) NCS PYTH 0.4956 (182) KENTUCKY

(Bold) numbers indicate national ranking.

Ratings information as of 29 January 15.

Wondering what all these terms are?

  • RPI: The Ratings Percentage Index, a measure of team strength based on winning percentage, the winning percentage of a team’s opponents, and the winning percentage of those opponents’ opponents. For a more detailed excoriation discussion of RPI, check out this section of the PTN Basketball Primer.
  • BPI: The Basketball Power Index is an opponent-adjusted statistic created by ESPN that accounts for scoring margin, pace, game location, and absence of critical players. It can be used both predictively and as a measure of a team’s strength to that point in the season.
  • PYTH: The Pythagorean Rating, a measure of a team’s expected winning percentage against an average D-I team, which is based on the concept of Pythagorean Expectation. For a more detailed discussion of PYTH ratings, check out this section of the PTN Basketball Primer.
  • Luck: A measure of how a team’s actual performance has outstripped that of its expected performance based on PYTH rating.
  • OE+: Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, a measure of a team’s offensive performance on a possession-by-possession basis, adjusted to provide the expected performance against an average D-I team. Expressed in points scored per 100 possessions.
  • DE+: Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, a measure of a team’s defensive performance on a possession-by-possession basis, adjusted to provide the expected performance against an average D-I team. Expressed in points allowed per 100 possessions.
  • T+: Adjusted Tempo, a measure of a team’s expected pace against a team that wants to play at an average D-I pace. Expressed as possessions per game.
  • Sched. PYTH: The Schedule PYTH Rating, a PYTH rating based on the adjusted offensive and defensive efficiencies of a team’s opponents, used as a strength-of-schedule rating.
  • NCS PYTH: The Non-Conference Schedule PYTH Rating, simply the schedule PYTH calculated for non-conference opponents only.
  • Opp. OE+: Opponents’ Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, the average adjusted offensive efficiency of a team’s opponents.
  • Opp. DE+: Opponents’ Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, the average adjusted defensive efficiency of a team’s opponents

Wondering what all of this means? Check out the PTN Basketball primer!

So, what do we know?

PYTH is still high on the Tide, but that’s about the only positive from the charts up there. The Wildcats have the Tide outclassed in every regard. I’m not even going to spend time talking about schedules[4]. There’s just nothing positive to say about this matchup if you wear crimson. I hate to be negative, but the only chance the Tide have in this one is if one of the platoons comes down with food poisoning the day of the game or something. The magic box has Kentucky with a 97.1% chance of winning, which is High. This must be what it’s like to play Alabama in football.

4 | Kentucky’s is better, but not by much, surprisingly.

THE PICK: Kentucky Wildcats

ROLL TIDE