Monday, March 21, 2005

How the Champs Went Down

NCSU 65, UConn 62

Pre-game post: Rebounding, Rebounding, Rebounding

Let's get right to the rebound rates from the game:

NCSU O-Reb Rate: 24.1% (season avg. = 33.3%)
Conn O-Reb Rate: 32.1% (season avg. = 42.8%)

UConn has absolutely dominated teams on the glass this year, but they didn't dominate NC State. Did they rebound better than State? Yes. But did they rebound well enough to give themselves a significant advantage in the game? No.

NC State scored 11 second chance points to UConn's 9.

UConn also didn't have the luxury of a large FTA advantage over NC State...

Conn FTA/FGA: 0.35

Turnovers were pretty even as well. State turned the ball over on about 20% of its possessions, while UConn turned it over on about 22% of theirs.

With those three factors so even, field goal percentage made the difference.

NCSU AdjFG%: 50%
Conn AdjFG%: 44.2%

It's always refreshing to encounter teams that don't rely on the three-ball. Not because I have anything against the three-pointer, but because teams that don't take a lot of threes don't scare me as much. UConn doesn't have a lot of shooters and relies on its big guys to win games with rebounding and high percentage shots from the post. The Huskies were 2-14 from behind the arc against State, so while their raw field goal percentage was in fact higher than NC State's, that's misleading because NC State was far more effective from three-point range (thus the Pack's advantage in adjusted field goal percentage).

UConn's defense had an obvious negative affect on NC State's offense (as expected). The Pack's offensive efficiency for the game was just 102.4, about 9 points below its season average. Fortunately, the Huskies struggled just as much, managing an efficiency of 97.6.