A few tempo free box score analysis from games this past weekend.
Texas 84, North Carolina 82: The team ahead in offensive efficiency wins the game outright about 97 percent of the time. Chalk one up for the 3 percent. In a mid-60 possession game, the visiting Tar Heels posted a 126 OE to Texas’ 125. Texas won on a Javan Felix jumper at the buzzer. Both teams had outstanding turnover rates, 9 percent for North Carolina and 12 percent for the Longhorns. Shaka Smart earned his first big win in Austin largely on a huge 40-17 edge in offensive rebounding percentage.
Xavier 65, Cincinnati 55: The Musketeers sent the visiting rivals to their third defeat in as many games. In a low-60 possession tempo it was Xavier’s defense that made the difference as they held Cincinnati to a 90 OE. On the offensive end, Xavier clicked with a nice 104. Cincinnati had a +5 advantage in offensive rebounding percentage. Mick Cronin’s team was done in by a 25 percent turnover rate. Xavier posted an outstanding 13 percent TO rate, a big difference deciding the outcome. One number not in the box score: Chris Mack’s Xavier club has won seven of the last meetings nine between the cross town rivals.
St. John’s 84, Syracuse 72: The meeting at Madison Square Garden saw the Red Storm of Chris Mullin post a noticeable upset. The pace was a fast high-70 possession tempo. St. John’s had the advantage with an excellent 110 efficiency while limiting the Orange to 93. Storm solved the Syracuse zone with a 12 of 24 performance from three. Overall, St. John’s shot an outstanding 59 percent eFG percentage. Syracuse had an excellent 7% TO rate but was doomed thanks to cold shooting, a 40 percent eFG mark of their own. Orange were 5 of 26 (19 percent) from three and under .500 from two (19 for 41 for 46 percent).