So here’s my attempt at picking the winner of a basketball game. The only
other time I’ve done so is, well, last year’s NCAA finals. I’m no expert
with stats in this sport but I know what to look here. Borrowing the stats
I used to build 4 brackets, here’s how the two measure up.
Average tournament games per tournament by coach: UConn: 0. Kentucky: 3.64
Average tourney games by school: UConn: 2.7 Kentucky: 3.01
Number of upperclassmen on roster: UConn: 9. Kentucky: 4
Closest school to neutral site: Kentucky, at
Best WL% vs schools in top 50: UConn: 13-7 Kentucky 8-8.
Most wins vs better conference in non-conference games:
Kentucky: vs Providence (Big East), plus these in the NCAA Tournament: wins
over Kansas State (Big 12), Michigan, Wisconsin (Big 10). Total: 4 (UConn in
the ACC would be their 5th)
UConn: wins over Indiana (Big 10), Washington (Pac 12). NCAA Tournament:
wins over Villanova (Big East), Iowa State (Big 12), Michigan State (Big
10). 5 total wins.
*Lowest differential between defensive 2-point % and defensive 3-point %:
UConn: 8.5% Kentucky: 12.3%
*Lowest turnover ratio per possession. UConn: 17.1% Kentucky: 17.7%
*Highest assist-turnover ratio. UConn: 1.076 Kentucky: .940
*Higher efficiency of field goal % on offense. UConn: .514 Kentucky: .497
*Lower efficiency of field goal % on defense. UConn: .439 Kentucky: .450
Also adding these:
Head to head: No games
UConn won in the Elite Eight matchup 60-54 (neutral)
Kentucky lost in regular season 74-78 (neutral)
Kentucky lost at home 69-59, away 84-65, and a conference tournament game
UConn won at home 65-64 in regular season, and Final Four matchup (neutral),
UConn lost at home 76-64, on the road 81-48, and conference tourney
Kentucky won at home 73-66 and Sweet Sixteen matchup (neutral) 74-69
By my count, UConn has better stats than Kentucky by at least a 2-1 margin,
and therefore the Huskies should prevail.