By the Numbers: Kansas vs. UCLA

Only one opponent stands in the Jayhawks' way to the Final Four, and it's one they have never beaten in four tries in the NCAA Tournament.  Let's see how the numbers shape up for Saturday's big showdown.

 

Kansas

UCLA

Talent Indicators

 

 

Div I Records

33-4

28-5

AP Rank

2

7

Pomeroy Rating
(Updated daily)

2

7

Consensus Ranking
(Updated periodically - avg several computer ratings and polls)

4
(thru Mar 11)

5
(thru Mar 11)

RPI

11

2

Best opponents defeated this season
(Ranking from Pomeroy)

vs Florida (# 3) W 82-80 (OT)
vs Kentucky (# 14) W 88-76

vs Texas A&M (# 6) W 65-62
vs Pittsburgh (# 13) W 64-55

Predictions
This section gives you a flavor of what different prediction techniques indicate for this game.

 

 

Vegas Oddsmakers

 Win by 2
Projection: 66-64

 

Prediction Tracker
 (Average of several power ratings)

TBD
(click link on Saturday to check)

Sagarin Power Ratings (Predictor)

Win by 3.7
(assumes no home court advantage)

 

Pomeroy
(Efficiency and Tempo-Adjusted)

Win 66-63

 

Last 10 Games
(Uses team performance and consistency over last 7 home/non-home games, whichever pertains to this game + 3 other most recent games regardless of location.  If 7 venue-appropriate games not available, fewer than 10 total games are used.)

Win by 5.7
89.7% chance of victory

 

Weighted Average of All Models Above
(30% Vegas + 20% Prediction Tracker + 15% Sagarin + 15% Pomeroy + 20% Last 10)

Win by 3.4
Projection: 67-63
(does not include Prediction Tracker)

 

Analysis: Last 5 Venue-Appropriate Games

The charts below illustrate the performance for each team over their last 5 venue-appropriate games (road or neutral).  The “Performance” is calculated by taking the opponent’s Sagarin rating for the game and adding (subtracting) the margin of victory (loss) for each game after factoring in home court advantage.

Kansas has performed about 1.2 points better than its season average in its last five non-home games.  UCLA has underperformed its season average by 3.4 points.  Thus, over the last five venue-appropriate games for each team, Kansas has been 8.3 points better than UCLA.  This analysis would suggest that Kansas is playing significantly better basketball over the last 5 games.  Incidentally, if you look at the last seven venue-appropriate games and mix in the three other most recent games, KU is still playing better basketball by about 5.7 points.

PSAN Player Ratings – Cumulative Season

Note: ePSAN70 weighs recent games more, but cPSAN70 weighs all games equally.  For more information behind the methodology of PSAN ratings, visit this page.  Ratings are shown only for players who average at least 8 minutes per game.

Kansas

ePSAN70 ("Efficiency" - per 70 possessions)
ePSAN ("Total Impact")

PLAYER

ePSAN70

ePSAN

Julian Wright

6.18

148.64

Mario Chalmers

5.90

152.59

Darnell Jackson

5.07

66.96

Darrell Arthur

4.82

74.90

Russell Robinson

4.49

104.22

Brandon Rush

4.31

123.68

Sherron Collins

4.17

86.67

Sasha Kaun

3.92

60.37

UCLA

cPSAN70 ("Efficiency" - per 70 possessions)
cPSAN ("Total Impact")

PLAYER

cPSAN70

cPSAN

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

5.85

132.78

Darren Collison

5.82

143.87

Lorenzo Mata

5.04

91.11

Josh Shipp

4.66

105.02

Arron Afflalo

3.70

95.27

Alfred Aboya

3.47

45.08

Michael Roll

1.70

21.70

Russell Westbrook

0.74

5.29

Highlighted Efficiency Rankings
Note: There are 336 Div-I teams
(Source: KenPom.com)

KANSAS

  • Offense #12 - Defense #1 - Tempo #59
  • Dominant in the all-important eFG% category (#3 allowed, #16 own)
  • Rank #25 in 2FG% and #3 in 2FG% allowed
  • Rank #23 in 3FG% and #26 in 3FG% allowed
  • Great on the offensive glass (#39 in rebounding, #46 in allowing)
  • Rank #47 in rate of forcing TO’s, including #18 in STL rate
  • Dominate the blocking game, #3 in BLK and #35 in avoiding BLK
  • Rank #314 in % of FGA's that are 3FG, but allow plenty by opp (#249)

Individual Player Highlights: (thru Mar 19, 2007)

  • Mario Chalmers - #79 eFG%, #12 STL rate
  • Russell Robinson - #88 FT rate, #75 STL rate
  • Julian Wright - #188 O-REB%, #114 D-REB%, #128 BLK rate
  • Darrell Arthur - #68 O-Reb%, #40 BLK rate

 

UCLA

  • Offense #22 - Defense #2 - Tempo #274
  • Strong overall shooting (#40 eFG%) including #41 in 2FG%
  • Excellent at limiting opponents’ O-REB% (#33)
  • Keeps opponents off FT line (#36) but does poor job of getting there (#273)
  • Very poor FT shooting percentage (#251 – 66.3%)
  • Rarely allows opponents to steal (#20)
  • Opponents take very few 3FG’s as a percent of FGA (#11)

Individual Player Highlights: (thru Mar 19, 2007)

  • Aaron Afflalo - #136 TO rate (good)
  • Darren Collison - #159 eFG%, #29 AST rate, #31 STL rate
  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - #187 O-REB%, #92 D-REB%, #131 STL rate
  • Lorenzo Mata - #142 D-REB%, #117 BLK rate
  • Alfred Aboya - #23 O-REB%
  • Michael Roll - #143 TO rate (good)

Other Efficiency Notes:

  • On offense, KU relies extremely heavily on 2FG's, while its opponents rely more on 3FG's at the expense of 2FG’s.
  • On offense, UCLA relies heavily on 2FG’s at the expense of FT’s, while its opponents rely very heavily on 2FG's.

Statistical Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis

Derived from stats at KenPom.com

NOTE: From top to bottom, the statistics are sorted such that, at the top are the greatest advantages to the team on the left,
and at the bottom are the greatest advantages for the team on the right. 

** Denotes that team with advantage also ranks in Top 50 in that category

 

Clear Advantage for Kansas

No Clear Advantage

Clear Advantage for UCLA

UCLA FT%

 

 

UCLA FT Rate

 

 

Kansas 3pt FG%**

 

 

Kansas % own 2FGA's blocked**

 

 

UCLA OREB**

 

 

 

UCLA % own 2FGA's blocked

 

 

Kansas eFG%

 

 

Kansas 2pt FG%

 

 

UCLA 2pt FG%

 

 

UCLA eFG%

 

 

UCLA 3pt FG%

 

 

UCLA PTS/Poss

 

 

Kansas FT%

 

 

UCLA % Poss STL by Opp

 

 

Kansas OREB

 

 

Kansas PTS/Poss

 

 

UCLA TO rate

 

 

Kansas TO rate

 

 

Kansas % Poss STL by Opp

 

 

 

Kansas FT Rate**

Game Outlook

This is a title-game-worthy matchup in the Elite 8.  It pits the top two defenses in the country, with stars galore on both sides.  UCLA has most of its players back from last year’s runner up team, so the experience edge clearly goes to the Bruins.  Meanwhile, the hunger edge probably goes to the Jayhawks who have suffered mightily the last two years in the Big Dance.  Looking at overall team statistics, this is what we might expect in terms of some game dynamics:

  • While both teams’ efficiencies are positively correlated with tempo, KU’s games have had many more possessions than UCLA’s on average.  A slower game likely gives a slight edge to the Bruins.
  • Neither team is expected to exploit the FT line much.
  • UCLA should not get too many second-chance opportunities.
  • UCLA should not be able to block many KU shots inside.
  • Although KU should make a reasonably high percentage of its 3FG shots, it will likely take very few of them.
  • KU should have a depth advantage, as they feature eight players with high ePSAN70 efficiency ratings, while UCLA sports only six.  This may become important if there is foul trouble for the Bruins.

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