What a great weekend. I have to agree with mu_hilltopper that everything was just a little bit sweeter after the Marquette victory. Anyways, we went through the box score and looked at the numbers to see how things played out.
Clearly, the two most important numbers were 81 and 76. Ha!
When we did the preview, the conclusion was basically that the keys were advantage on Effective Field Goal % (eFG%), Offensive Rebounding % (OR%), and for Wisconsin, Turnover Rate (TO%). Both teams appeared to be fairly evenly matched. So how did these keys match up during the game?
- eFG % - Wisconsin did better at eFG%
- MU was held below their season average (57%).
- However, MU has never had eFG% below 48% and this game was no exception.
- Wisconsin was ranked #3 on Pomeroy's site at eFG% defense. They had held five of seven opponents under 40% eFG%, so for MU to hit 50% was excellent.
- Marquette was dominant at Offensive Rebounding %, not only against UW but also against their season average (38.6%).
- To put it in context, an OR% of 38.6 put MU as top 15% of all D1 teams.
- 53.8% is off the charts. It's an obscene number.
- Wisconsin had held six of seven opponents under 26%, and the sole exception was Duke at 32%!
- I clearly believe this to be the key of the game.
- Marquette also managed to win the TO Rate battle, but finished worse than their season average.
- A TO Rate of 20% is about average, so MU ended up about average.
- Wisconsin needed to force a higher rate of turnovers in order to win.
- Despite all of my complaining, FT Rate ended up being somewhat unimportant for both teams.
Let's just look at a few additional stats. Obviously, it's no secret that Marquette wanted to push the pace. The game plan for Wisconsin actually shows a negative correlation to pace. What did the final pace look like?
Good news! Marquette ended up with more possessions than UW and a faster pace than their season average. Interestingly enough, the Points / Possession ended up identical for both teams, and was consistent with MU's season average.
That's it for this review. We'll address the MU players in the next segment.