Here’s a look at a statistical comparison heading into the Kentucky-Florida showdown.
Ken Pomeroy ranks UK as the 10th-best team in the country with regards to offensive efficiency, while Florida is No. 22 in that category. Pomeroy ranks Florida as the seventh-best team in defensive efficiency, while UK is 33rd.
Kentucky has played the tougher schedule. RPI ranks Kentucky’s schedule as the ninth-toughest in the country. Sagarin has it at No. 48. Pomeroy ranks Florida’s schedule as the 26th-toughest. Sagarin has it at No. 65.
Take a look at field goal percentage. Kentucky shoots 46.8 percent from the floor, Florida 46.1. Florida opponents are shooting 39.3 percent, UK 39.5. Can’t get much closer.
Florida takes more three-pointers per game, averaging 19.1 to UK’s 15.9. Kentucky goes to the free throw line more. The Cats are attempting 30.9 free throws, Florida 24.3.
Where UK has a clear advantage is offensive rebounding. The Cats are claiming 43.3 percent of their offensive rebounding opportunities. The only down side is that Florida is doing a better job protecting the defensive glass. The Gators’ opponents are getting only 29.7 percent of their offensive rebound opportunities, while UK’s opponents are claiming 31 percent.
Kentucky wants to play a faster pace. The Cats are averaging 68.3 possessions per game, while Florida is averaging 63.8.
If you go by points per possession both offensively and defensively and figure in the expected pace of the game, Florida would win 69-68.
Photo of Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin vs. Tennessee by Wade Payne/AP.
Related link: UK-Florida “just another game”? Of course not