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KenPom predicts a very close game

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Friday night’s Kentucky-UCLA Sweet 16 matchup is a pick ’em out in Las Vegas and a one-possession game in KenPom’s Game Predictor.

I dialed up the fancy score generating machine to see what it predicts the outcome will be and it told me Kentucky will win a tight one, 88-86.

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 4.34.45 PM

We’ll take that.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

21 Comments for KenPom predicts a very close game



  1. BigBlueApps
    4:45 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    Sweet 16: 3 days, 4 hours and counting… KENTUCKY vs UCLA: Friday, March 24, 2017 at 9:40 PM EDT on CBS Go Big Blue! #BBN

    BigBlueTime.com



  2. BlueDeuce
    5:00 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    I like UK’s SOS, NCSOS, and defense rank over UCLA…their offense is good but I like my team!



  3. TBW3011
    5:05 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    Think it will be lower scoring than this. Don’t see Cal wanting high 80’s or above this time around. We can grind it out and play better defense than they can. They have basically one speed. Make them adapt. We already have proven that we can do so.



    • Rixter
      5:50 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

      That’s a good point. UCLA already beat us in a track meet, let’s see how they fare in a muddled up game.



  4. unbridled
    5:26 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    I’m sticking with my original prediction of an 8-12 point cats victory. I like my team and I like my coach!



  5. BlueHeaven
    5:33 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    Mark it down that UK is going to the Final Four where they are going to beat Kansas. UCLA, UNC and Kansas all played UK when they were a different team, young and inexperienced. I don’t see anyone on this side of the bracket stopping them.



    • 4everblue
      6:35 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

      UNC and Kansas have to win their games too for that to happen. I think Kansas could lose to Purdue and Butler is no slouch, hell UNC would probably have lost to Arkansas if the game had been called right.



  6. az1006
    5:38 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    TBW…You hit the nail on the head. We have been at our best when we get out and run, but in this one the shoe’s on the other foot….We have a marked advantage if we slow the pace and force UCLA to guard us in the half court. If we minimize live-ball turnovers and rebound, we can negate their run-game. If we get into another run-and-gun type of game with them, that gives them the advantage. If we can keep the game in the 70s, I like our chances. Cats by 4, 76-72.



  7. BBNDan7
    5:46 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    I’ve already had 7 heart attacks



  8. catsarerunnin
    5:55 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    Well since it’s a late game,I will be in a very medicated state compliments of my friend Woodford Reserve.



    • Cals Hoverboard
      6:20 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

      I’m partial to W. Reserve too. Try some of the new Double Oaked. I love seeing double



    • unbridled
      6:44 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

      Double Oaked is phenomenal. My “everyday” “regular” bourbon is makers 46. Simply delicious



    • catsarerunnin
      7:16 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

      Gots to get me some.



  9. UKALLDAY1
    5:56 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    Look this is a really good UCLA team, like they are REALLY good. The best chance we have to play less Briscoe and more Mulder. The line up of Fox, Monk, Mulder, D. Willis and Bam is the best line up UK can put out. It gives Fox enough shooters to keep the floor spread out so he has those lanes to drive the ball and do what he does best. Daddy Ball says that they want to pack it in?? Well this line up will surely take care of that silly game plan. Can’t wait for the game!



  10. Cals Hoverboard
    6:14 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    One stat keeps coming back to me that leads me to believe our Cats are seasoned and ready for the Bruins on the rematch. UCLA SoS is 106 and NonConf Sos is 282. God, what would their numbers be without us on their NonC schedule? Our SoS is 27 and NonConf Sos is 13. I could be accused at cherry picking stats to make my case but I just think our Cats have gone to war against a much stronger schedule, fought (and struggled) through sickness and injury, and come out of the season stronger and more battle tested than UCLA. Arizona has handled UCLA in 2 of their 3 meetings (both wins by 11 points) this season and I think our offense and defense are on par with the “other” Wildcats in every way. I like my team and I feel good about our chances.



    • cking
      8:36 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

      I think the game will be won or lost with how KY handles the UCLA spurt of 2 to 3 treys in quick succession. That’s how they typically win, and wear teams out with their spacing on the 4 and 5.

      Containing TJ Leaf & Welsh will be critical!



  11. RexRox
    6:47 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    Hoverboard, I like your analysis. Another huge stat difference is we have the #8 defense going against # 76. Neither team played much defense in December; the Bruins still don’t.



  12. UkfanMatt
    6:49 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

    I have only watched 1 UCLA game, when they played UK. I wonder, how well do they play when playing a physical game? When they get punched in the mouth, so to speak. UK has proven they can play a very good physical game (look at the last 4 or 6 games we have played), so can UCLA do the same? If not, I say we play them physical and push them around



    • cking
      8:41 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

      Your right on..not many physical teams out west…

      TJ Leaf and Welsh are great at spacing the floor and mid range jumpers so they pull big men out, which in turns limits the opposing teams ability to get physical.

      Leaf is stronger than you think.

      This is going to be an awesome game…best sweet 16 matchup since Kentucky/Indiana 2012



    • runningunnin.454
      9:54 pm March 21, 2017 Permalink

      The ’12 UK-IU game didn’t feature much defense; I think our much improved defense can beat the Bruins. We held Wichita St to their 2nd lowest point total of the season, 2nd only to Louisville; 19 points below their average. True, their conference was weak; but, they played UL, Mich St, Okla, and Okla St.
      Don’t think Ball can hurt us; have to keep a hand in Alford’s face, and contain Welsh and Leaf.



    • Luether
      2:34 am March 22, 2017 Permalink

      UCLA recently beat AZ at AZ. Should be all you need to know…