Let's challenge a few more bits of conventional wisdom with NEM. (Check out yesterday's NEM piece for some background.)

  • For all the talk of Kentucky's youth, they've actually not shown two of the common patterns of inexperience. Many young teams are wildly inconsistent and have trouble away from the comforts of their home court. Kentucky has demonstrated the opposite. (Division I opponents only)

    This chart shows the 5-game running average of Kentucky's overall NEM. After a bit of a slow start (remember the John Wall game winner against Miami of Ohio?), they have actually played fairly consistently starting around game 12. Ken Pomeroy ranks them 87th in consistency, ahead of supposedly more experienced Kansas.


    The Wildcats actually are playing slightly better (2 points per 100 possessions) away from Rupp Arena overall, though the offensive numbers are a bit higher.

  • During last year's tournament, I created some head-to-head NEM comparison charts to see whether we can detect any trends over the course of the season. By request, here are few matchups. (I'll take other requests too.) Again these are running five-game averages of total NEM.

    Baylor (green) has played three fewer D-I games than Duke (blue), but by the end of the season the Bears are roughly on par with the Blue Devils. Duke's somewhat lackluster (by their standards, at least) play in the ACC Tournament could be a concern.

    By the way, the peak in Duke's NEM was largely from the ridiculous 65.2 NEM (including -56.7 defensively!) they posted against Gonzaga in December. That was not a pretty game for either offense.

    Baylor (green) and Villanova (blue) are heading in opposite directions. Baylor has been playing its best ball of the season over the last few weeks, while Villanova has been slowly trending downward since early February.

    After being roughly equal with the Monarchs (light blue) through most of the season, Notre Dame (gold) certainly rose to the occasion late in the season. We'll see whether the Irish can keep up that pace in New Orleans.

    Washington (purple) has found their stride after a very rough start. Through the last month, they've been playing as well as, if not slightly better than, Marquette (light blue).