BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Do Teams Really Play Better Against UK?

Bryan the Internover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
Blame I know I hear it all the time, and I am positive Matt has heard it tons of times on his radio show: Kentucky is everybody's Super Bowl, and teams always seem to play out of their arse against the Cats.  I have always said this is a cheap excuse to try and explain bad UK losses (i.e. Ole Miss/Gardner Webb/VMI etc.), much like blaming officials for losses.  But as I like to do, I want to give you the actual numbers.  Do teams really play better against UK?  Here is a look at Kentucky's 6 losses (places where an opponent out-performed their season averages in BOLD): UCONN Against UK: 84 points, 57.7% FG, 58.3% 3P, 89.5% FT Season Avg: 74 points, 42.8% FG, 33.3% 3P, 74.8% FT NORTH CAROLINA Against UK: 75 points, 41.4% FG, 09.1% 3P, 70.3% FT Season Avg: 79 points, 46.0% FG, 34.2% 3P, 65.3% FT GEORGIA Against UK: 77 points, 44.9% FG, 33.3% 3P, 88.2% FT Season Avg: 72 points, 45.9% FG, 34.3% 3P, 67.5% FT ALABAMA Against UK: 68 points, 44.6% FG, 50.0% 3P, 64.7% FT Season Avg: 68 points, 45.3% FG, 30.9% 3P, 74.4% FT OLE MISS Against UK: 71 points, 42.9% FG, 47.1% 3P, 81.8% FT Season Avg: 75 points, 45.8% FG, 34.6% 3P, 76.1% FT FLORIDA Against UK: 70 points, 43.4% FG, 31.6% 3P, 81.8% FT Season Avg: 71 points, 45.3% FG, 33.5% 3P, 65.7% FT If you want a little recap of those numbers, here you go: -In only 2 of the 6 losses has the opponent scored more than their season average -In only 1 of the 6 losses has the opponent shot a better percentage than their season average -In 5 of the 6 losses, teams have shot better at the free throw line than their season average So, I will absolutely concede that Kentucky is doing a very poor job of defending the free throw line this season.  I still don't understand why Darius Miller is so passive when watching an opponent shoot free throws.  He should jump and try to block some of those, Perry Stevenson style. (SARCASM!!!)  What I will not, and never will, grant you is that teams play better against Kentucky than they normally would.  As the numbers above show, in Kentucky losses, team play as good IF NOT WORSE statistically against the Cats than they do the rest of the season.  My suggestion would be to look at our own team after losses, rather than the opponent.  I mean, we're Kentucky fans, complaining about our own team is what we do best.  (SARCASM!!!!)

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