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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: We Are Not Losing to Davidson

Davidson over Kentucky is a trendy upset pick in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament.  I think it’s baloney.  When I look at the actual matchup, nearly everything leans in UK’s favor, and most in a big way.  A highlight three of the biggest:

1. They don’t get to the foul line and Kentucky does
-Davidson ranks 345th in the country (out of 351) in free throws attempted.  They only attempt 13.8 free throws per game.  Kentucky is 4th in the country in free throws attempted, averaging 24.6 attempts per game.  Point being, UK is likely looking at a serious advantage at the foul line.  Now, UK can’t blow that opportunity by shooting a poor percentage but if the right guys are getting to the line, UK should gain 8-10 points at the line.

2. What they do well UK does even better
-Davidson’s advantage over most teams is from the perimeter.  They make the 10th most threes per game at 10.7 per game and they shoot it at a good rate, making 39.1% of their attempts.  But UK’s 3-point defense is even better.  They are 5th in the country at defending the three, holding teams to a 29.9% rate for the season.  In the SEC Tournament, they held their 3 opponents to 6-23, 8-24, and 10-27.  That’s just 32% shooting.  I am not saying that Davidson can not hit 8-12 threes against the Cats but they are going to have to take a lot of them to get to that number.  Which brings us to #3…….

3. They can’t get offensive rebounds
-If UK can hold Davidson to a lower than normal shooting percentage, all of the rebounds will be the Cats.  Even if the Cats didn’t have a huge size advantage over Davidson, it wouldn’t matter because Davidson doesn’t rebound their misses anyway.  They are 341st (out of 351) in offensive rebounding, getting just over six a game.  They depend on hitting a high percentage of shots.

This game is not actually tough to breakdown.  It revolves around two things:

  1. UK shooting a decently high percentage from the foul line.
  2. Davidson shooting a lower than normal percentage from the 3-point line.

That’s it.  If those two things happen, which have been happening all year in UK’s favor, then the Cats couldn’t have much of an issue tomorrow.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

10 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: We Are Not Losing to Davidson

  1. Bluebloodtoo
    10:13 am March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Well, they do need one more thing to ensure those bullet points…the refs have to actually call the fouls.

  2. Mathlete
    10:25 am March 14, 2018 Permalink

    One more important point – Calipari has only lost to one non-Power 5 team since he’s been here – Robert Morris, which I think all things considered we can forget. Considering just about the only way those teams get scheduled is if they’re expected to contend for their conference title (or if Cal owes their coach a favor or something), that’s a significant streak.

  3. unbridled
    10:44 am March 14, 2018 Permalink

    I almost want this to be a competitive game to prepare for Virginia because I see some similarities there. That said, the cats will likely have their way with Davidson. Then the dog fight. If the cats can survive the dog fight….look out! The sky is literally the limit.

    • crazycatfan65
      11:40 am March 14, 2018 Permalink

      I’d rather worry about Davidson and THEN Arizona before we even begin to start thinking about Virginia.

    • unbridled
      12:35 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      Ok. I have no relevance to the outcome of the game…..soooooo it doesn’t really matter what I think now does it? Also, UK is going to run Davidson out of the gym. So there’s that.

  4. Smyrna_Cat
    12:12 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    So, THIS time, you don’t think we should give up and accept defeat because we MIGHT get beat????

  5. RC
    12:14 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Davidson played some big time P5 schools this year- and lost handily.
    81-68 against Nevada while still making 13 3’s.
    85-75 against UNC while still making 14 3’s.
    80-60 against UVA while only making 8 3’s.
    72-59 against Rhode Island while only making 4 3’s.

    Davidson isn’t very athletic. They can shoot from anywhere but that’s about it. They haven’t played a team with UK’s length or quickness in months, and when they did they got housed.

    Can UK lose? Yes, if they completely abandon their perimeter defense and if Davidson makes a ton of 3’s. Is UK likely to lose? Absolutely not. This could be a blowout if the Cats are focused. Let’s roll!!!

    • Mathlete
      12:18 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

      If you give up 80 points to UVA, you can’t defend anyone

  6. Cals Hoverboard
    1:19 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Good job RC doing the research and posting for us. I love it when folks use stats and facts to bolster their point. Granted those games you listed were early non-conf games, except RI which was early February, may not be an indicator for how well they are shooting and playing now. Kinda like us I suppose. I do agree that we heavily outmatch Davidson, our length and athleticism should give them fits. But there is still that thing that we fear, overlooking an opponent. This is Davidsons Superbowl, their David and Goliath game, their chance to face the future NBA stars of Kentucky. But if this is just a game that we have to play before we get our big game with Arizona or Virginia, it could be a long night. Anyway, I still think we win this one by a nice margin. These 12-5 matchups just worry me too much, i guess. Go Cats!

  7. spincr4hire72
    5:13 pm March 14, 2018 Permalink

    Thx for the jinx