ST. LOUIS — As for the Wichita State-Kentucky matchup on Sunday, let’s look at the numbers.
For Kentucky, the numbers don’t look good.
Wichita State shoots a better percentage from the floor, both overall and from three-point range. The Shockers are shooting 45.9 percent to UK’s 44.9. Wichita State is shooting 34.7 percent from three, compared to UK’s 32.4 percent.
Defensively, Wichita State is holding opponents to 38.6 percent shooting while Kentucky’s foes have shot 40.2 percent. Same thing from three-point range where the Shockers are holding teams to 30.5 percent, while UK is holding teams to 31.4 percent.
Wichita State is also better at the foul line, hitting 72.6 percent to Kentucky’s 68.2. The Cats do shoot on average four more free throws per game than do the Shockers.
Rebounding is UK’s strength, but the Shockers aren’t bad on the glass, either. UK’s margin is 9.8, compared to 7.9 for Wichita State. And while Kentucky claims 42.2 percent of its offensive rebounds, the Shockers do a good job of keeping opponents off the offensive boards. Teams are rebounding just 25.8 percent of their chances.
Yet, while most of the numbers favor Wichita State, strength of schedule definitely favors Kentucky. The Shockers’ compiled their stats — and their 35-0 record — against a schedule ranked 131st by Jeff Sagarin’s computer and 98th by the RPI. Kentucky’s SOS is ranked 26th by Sagarin and No. 3 by the RPI.