By the Numbers: Texas at Kansas

Kansas is on the verge of accomplishing what few, if any, gave the Jayhawks a chance to do – win the Big XII outright. A win against Texas means KU stands alone atop the conference standings with its nation-leading homecourt win streak intact. Let's see what the numbers say about this regular season finale.

Analysis: Last 5 Venue-Appropriate Games

The charts below illustrate the performance for each team over their last 5 venue-appropriate games.  The red bar represents each team's current Sagarin Predictor rating, which represents overall team strength.  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.  Homecourt advantage is also factored into the equation.


In this analysis, Kansas has outperformed its season average by about 2.4 points.  With the exception of the Colorado and Missouri games, the Jayhawks have tended to perform around their season average in their last five home games.  Against CU, the Jayhawks performed just about as poorly compared to their season average as they did better in the Missouri blowout.  Thus, the trend looks extremely positive for Kansas at home of late.  Of course, this analysis conveniently dismisses that KU just had its worst performance of the season, by far, in a blowout loss against lowly Texas Tech.


In contrast, Texas has significantly underperformed on the road by about 4.6 points in its last five away games.  What's worse, the trend is clearly negative.  In particular, their last two games (aTm, OSU) were far worse performances than their season rating.  The last time the Longhorns performed at par on the road was in late January against Baylor.


Only once in KU's last five home games have the Jayhawks performed at a level below UT's expected level (including homecourt edge).  Not once has Texas done better than KU's expected performance level.  Things don't look good for Texas to stand in the way of an outright conference title for Kansas.


In summary, over the last five games for each team, Kansas has been 10.1 points better than Texas.  While season average ratings would suggest a modest 7-point edge for KU, this specific analysis projects the Jayhawks to win by a healthy 14-point margin.


Statistical Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis

These advantages are based on raw statistics derived from scouting reports for each team.  In cases where one team's ranking in a category is strong where the other team's corresponding ranking is weak, an advantage is projected.  For example, if Team A has a #30-rated eFG%, while Team B has a #280-rated eFG% defense, then Team A would be projected to have an advantage in eFG% for the game.


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

Clear Advantage for Kansas

Texas eFG%**

Texas 2pt FG%**

Texas 3pt FG%

Kansas 3pt FG%**

Kansas OREB**

Clear Advantage for Texas

Texas TO rate**


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.  Thus, 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.



Team With Projected Advantage


 KU 52-43%

 TO Rate

 UT 25-22%


 KU 34-28%


 KU 52-48%

 Four Factors Overall

 Fairly close in most of the factors except eFG%, where the Jayhawks should dominate and win the game.


Game Outlook

By most indicators, it appears Kansas is poised for a big victory today.  The blowout loss to Texas Tech notwithstanding, the Jayhawks have been on a tear, particularly at home, while Texas has struggled on the road.  The key for Texas will likely be its ability to minimize the Jayhawks' eFG%.  Given KU's typically strong eFG% defense, Texas isn't expected to fare well in its shooting percentage, so it must do everything it can to minimize the damage in this all-important category.

Most likely, it will come down to two important facets of the game, KU's second-chance points and easy points off turnovers.  In general, eFG% is strongly dependent on a team's luck from behind the arc, as changing a miss to a make will swing the eFG% significantly more than it would for two-pointers.  The dynamics of this game, however, suggest that KU will not take that many three-pointers.  So, it becomes even more important for Texas to stop Kansas from getting easy shots from offensive rebounds and from fast breaks off turnovers.  Fortunately for the Longhorns, they are one of the country's best at limiting their own turnovers, but the projections show that it may be tougher to do that this time around.  On the boards, it's another interesting battle.  Texas has fared very well there all season long, but the projected dynamics of this game suggest that KU will have an edge there.  Watch early in this game to see whether Texas is turning the ball over and giving up offensive rebounds to get a feel for whether this game will be truly be an easy victory for KU or a real battle instead.

In summary, look for Kansas to have a significant shooting percentage advantage, which should propel them to victory and an outright Big XII regular season championship.

Sagarin ratings source: Top Stories