By the Numbers: Kansas at Kansas St.

The K-State Wildcats may not have Jack Bauer on the case, but "24" is the number that Michael Beasley and company have their sights set on. Will this be the end of "The Streak"? Let's see what the numbers tell us.

Analysis: Last 5 Venue-Appropriate Games

The charts below illustrate the performance for each team over their last 5 venue-appropriate games. That is, KU non-home games and K-State home games. The red bar represents each team’s current Sagarin Predictor rating, which best represents team strength for the entire season. 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. Home advantage is also factored into the equation.

 

In this analysis, Kansas has underperformed its season average by about 3.6 points. K-State has outperformed its season rating by an astonishing 17.2 points. Thus, over the last five venue-appropriate games for each team, K-State has been 9.8 points better than Kansas. Another 4.3 points can be given to KSU for the expected homecourt advantage, meaning this specific analysis predicts a 14-point upset by the Wildcats.

 

 

Statistical Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis

(Note: These are based on raw statistics from KenPom.com that are unadjusted for strength of opposition.) 

 

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

Clear Advantage for Kansas

K-State 3pt FG%

K-State % own 2FGA's blocked**

K-State % Poss STL by Opp**

K-State FT%**

Kansas 3pt FG%**

K-State TO rate**

K-State eFG%**

Kansas % own 2FGA's blocked**

Clear Advantage for K-State

Kansas FT%**

 

Four Factors Game Projections

This method matches up each team’s offensive statistics against the other team’s defensive statistics. It also adjusts for the strength of opponents’ offense and defense faced so far. For example, a team that has played an extremely weak defensive schedule will not be artificially projected to shoot well. Keep in mind that this is a projection of what would happen if each team played at its average level to date. It does account for the location of the game, but it does not adjust for teams that play particularly well or poorly based on location more so than the average team.

 

Statistic

Team With Projected Advantage

 eFG%

 KU 48-44%

 TO Rate

 KU 25-22%

 O-Reb%

 KU 37-34%

 FT Rate

 KU 30-24%

 Four Factors Overall

 About half of KU’s scoring margin advantage should be from the eFG% difference, with very slight gains in each of the other factors.

 

Bottom Line

This game has many markings of a potential classic. Obviously, it is a rivalry that goes way back. The underdog is playing at home and is led by the nation’s top freshman and, arguably, best player. Analysis of recent venue-appropriate games gives a significant edge to KSU, but a projection using full season stats gives the edge to Kansas. So the real question is, “Which team will show up?” The KSU team that has dominated at home of late or the one that got blown out at Xavier? The KU teams that barely eked out victories on the road against non-conference foes or the one that blew away BC and Nebraska? One must concede that the undefeated, second-ranked Jayhawks who have won the last 24 games in Manhattan should be the favorites. But the numbers would suggest that the visitors from Lawrence had better not take anything for granted.


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