Monday, April 7, 2014
Top stats to know: UConn vs. Kentucky
By Ryan Feldman
The seven-seed Connecticut Huskies and eight-seed Kentucky Wildcats are set to meet in the men’s basketball National Championship Monday. It’s the highest combined seeds ever in a National Championship.
UConn is trying to become the first seven seed to win the National Championship and the only team to be 4-0 in National Championship games. Kentucky is trying to become the second eight seed to win it, matching 1985 Villanova as the lowest seed to win the title.
Here are some of the top statistical storylines heading into Monday night's National Championship.
Performing in the clutch Kentucky is plus-21 in the NCAA Tournament when the score is within three points in the final three minutes, after being minus-16 in that situation during the regular season.
Final 3 min of 2nd Half/OT Score Within 3 Points This Season
Kentucky Reg Season
Pts per play
Opp Pts per play
Opp FG pct
Kentucky is shooting 60 percent on field goals, including 5-of-6 on 3-pointers, when the score is within three points in the final three minutes in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats shot 29 percent on field goals in those situations in the regular season.
The Wildcats are holding opponents to 25 percent field goals, including 0-for-8 on 3-pointers, in those situations in the NCAA Tournament.
The Harrisons Led by Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Kentucky could be the first team to play seven freshmen in a National Championship game.
Kentucky is plus-34 in the NCAA Tournament when the Harrison twins are both on the court together, and minus-16 when at least one of them is on the bench.
Aaron Harrison is shooting 56 percent on 3-pointers in the NCAA Tournament after shooting 31 percent on 3-pointers in the regular season.
The Tweak Kentucky's offense has improved since John Calipari's "tweak" entering the SEC Tournament. Since then, Kentucky is averaging three more points per 100 possessions, shooting 10 percentage points better on 3-pointers, and playing at a slower pace -- six fewer possessions per game.
Kentucky Offense This Season
First 35 Games
Last 4 Games
3-pt FG pct
Pct of Pts in Paint
The difference is even more drastic in the last four games -- 12 more points per 100 possessions, 12 percentage points better on 3-pointers, seven fewer possessions per game, compared to the first 35 games.
53 percent of Kentucky's points have been in the paint over the last four games, compared to 46 percent in its first 35 games.
Pick-and-roll UConn is shooting 60 percent on pick-and-roll ball-handler plays in the NCAA Tournament (pick-and-rolls in which the guard makes a play).
UConn is the most efficient team on pick-and-roll ball-handler plays among teams that have played at least three games in the NCAA Tournament.
Shabazz Napier on Pick-and-Roll This Season
Pts per play
The Huskies are averaging 11.2 points per game on pick-and-roll plays (18 percent of their half-court offense) in the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky ranks 55th of 68 teams in points per play allowed on pick-and-roll ball-handler plays in the NCAA Tournament.
Shabazz Napier is shooting 56 percent on pick-and-roll plays in the NCAA Tournament and is creating 13.4 points per game (including passes) on such plays.
A battle down low Kentucky is scoring 37 points per game in the paint, which makes up 52 percent of the points it has scored, in the NCAA Tournament.
UConn is allowing 24 points per game in the paint, which makes up 36 percent of the points it has allowed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats rank second in offensive rebound percentage this season, grabbing 42 percent of their missed shots, whereas UConn ranks 206th in offensive rebound percentage (30.5 percent).
The Huskies rank 247th in defensive rebound percentage (67 percent) this season.