Inside the numbers: Which team DESERVES to be #1??


by Corey Price

On Wednesday, #3 Villanova defeated unranked Notre Dame 90-72. Today, #1 Kentucky defeated #21 Vanderbilt 85-72, #2 Kansas defeated #11 Kansas State 81-79 in overtime, and #4 Syracuse defeated unranked DePaul 59-57. Those 4 schools entered this week as the top 4 teams in the AP Poll and now they are the only 4 teams in Division I mens’ basketball with only 1 loss. So when the new AP Poll comes out on Monday afternoon, who should be ranked #1? I compiled a table of statistics to do a team-by-team comparison of the 4 schools, giving an advantage to a school based on each statistic/criteria. Here’s the table:</ xmlns=""

"KUUKSyrNovaAdvantageOverall Record20-120-121-119-1SyracuseConference Record6-05-18-18-0VillanovaNon-Conference Record14-115-013-011-1KentuckyRecord At Home14-014-013-110-0Kansas, KentuckyRecord On The Road5-13-16-06-1SyracuseRecord At Neutral Sites1-03-02-03-0Kentucky, VillanovaRecord vs. Ranked Teams2-13-05-02-0SyracuseRecord vs. Unranked Teams18-017-116-117-1KansasLongest Win Streak14 games19 games13 games10 gamesKentuckyCurrent Win Streak6 games1 game8 games10 gamesVillanovaRPI1st7th2nd4thKansasRPI Strength Of Schedule15th71st10th45thSyracusePossessions Per Game7172.672.372.8VillanovaPoints Per Possession1.’ Points Per Possession0.880.910.890.97KansasPoints Per Possession Margin0.310.220.250.2KansasScoring Offense84.782.282.485.2VillanovaScoring Defense62.56664.470.5KansasScoring Margin22.216.21814.7KansasField Goals Made Per Game29.729.230.728.2SyracuseField Goals Attempted Per Game59.859.55860.3VillanovaField Goal Percentage49.70%49.10%52.90%46.70%SyracuseOpponents’ Field Goals Made Per Game21.62323.422.3KansasField Goals Made Margin8.’ Field Goals Attempted Per Game59.660.361.656.2VillanovaField Goals Attempted Margin0.2-0.8-3.64.1VillanovaOpponents’ Field Goal Percentage36.20%38.20%37.90%39.70%KansasField Goal Percentage Margin13.50%10.90%15%7%SyracuseFree Throws Made Per Game17.517.314.220.9VillanovaFree Throws Attempted Per Game24.725.321.727.6VillanovaFree Throw Percentage70.90%68.40%65.50%75.50%VillanovaOpponents’ Free Throws Made Per Game13.312.89.918.4SyracuseFree Throws Made Margin4.’ Free Throws Attempted Per Game19.318.115.426.4SyracuseFree Throws Attempted Margin5.’ Free Throw Percentage68.90%70.50%64.50%69.50%SyracuseFree Throw Percentage Margin2%-2.10%1%6%Villanova3 Point Field Goals Made Per Game7. Point Field Goals Attempted Per Game191717.520.9Villanova3 Point Field Goal Percentage41.60%38.50%38.50%38.60%KansasOpponents’ 3 Point Field Goals Made Per Game67.27.87.6Kansas3 Point Field Goals Made Margin1.9-0.6-1.10.5KansasOpponents’ 3 Point Field Goals Attempted Per Game18.820.825.122.7Kansas3 Point Field Goals Attempted Margin0.2-3.8-7.6-1.8KansasOpponents’ 3 Point Field Goal Percentage31.90%34.90%31%33.30%Syracuse3 Point Field Goal Percentage Margin9.70%3.60%7.50%5.30%KansasRebounds Per Game41.64238.940.7KentuckyOpponents’ Rebounds Per Game33.53234.233.7KentuckyOffensive Rebounds Per Game13.415.111.714.2KentuckyDefensive Rebounds Per Game28.22727.226.5KansasOpponents’ Offensive Rebounds Per Game12.912.31411.8VillanovaOffensive Rebounds Margin0.52.8-2.32.4KentuckyOpponents’ Defensive Rebounds Per Game20.619.620.221.9KentuckyDefensive Rebounds Margin7.67.474.6KansasRebound Margin8.110.14.77KentuckyAssists Per Game18.115.920.114.8SyracuseOpponents’ Assists Per Game12.611.115.513.1KentuckyAssists Margin5. Per Game8.87.411.18SyracuseOpponents’ Steals Per Game6.278.56.7KansasSteals Margin2., SyracuseBlocks Per Game6.37.173.8KentuckyOpponents’ Blocks Per Game3.53.324SyracuseBlocks Margin2.83.85-0.2SyracuseTurnovers Per Game13.215.215.913.7KansasOpponents’ Turnovers Per Game14.814.717.215.8SyracuseTurnover Margin1.6- Per Game18.616.514.521.6SyracuseOpponents’ Fouls Per Game20.120.718.121.6VillanovaFouls Margin1.54.23.60KentuckyAssist-To-Turnover Ratio1.37:11.05:11.27:11.08:1KansasOpponents’ Assist-To-Turnover Ratio.85:1.8:1.9:1.83:1KentuckyAssist-To-Turnover Ratio Margin+.52:1+.25:1+.37:1+.25:1Kansas"

After you analyze the numbers, nothing new is really gained. Kansas is without a doubt (per the numbers) the number one team wih a real dogfight for the rest of the top. Syracuse and Villanova are tied for the number of advantages won with Kentucky just a tad behind. And that is probably going to be how the rankings come out later today. Whether it is right or not is still a subject for debate.

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