New York City- The championship game of the Saatva Classic at Madison Square Garden has the Huskies facing a Texas team that needed some last second heroics to defeat Louisville in the semis. UConn rolled over Indiana in their semifinal but this should be a competitive battle. By the numbers…
Texas plays at a quick 70 possession pace. Their efficiency margin (defense minus offense) is a +19. The offensive efficiency is 113 while they are 94 on defense. Both excellent marks.
The Huskies are nearly identical in the tempo department playing at a 69 possession pace. Dan Hurley’s group checks in at a +28 efficiency margin. UConn’s offensive efficiency is 118. Defensively, they yield a stingy 90 efficiency per outing.
The two teams are very close in two of the Four Factors:
As noted, both teams shoot the ball well and take care of it by limiting turnovers. Teams should aspire to keep their TO rate under 20% and the two teams check that box.
The factor that sees a notable difference is offensive rebounding percentage. The Huskies own a 47-33 advantage over the Longhorns in that category. Individually, UConn’s Donovan Clingan has a 25% OREB percentage, good for second in the nation. The battle of the boards will be paramount in this contest.
Texas narrowly got by in their semi. UConn rolled. Regardless, don’t expect Rodney Terry’s Longhorns to be less than a tough out.
An added Kenpom.com note, UConn has the nation’s longest win streak at ten. Their last loss? In the Big East semis to Marquette on this same Garden floor.