The Big, Big, Big Blue Nation rolls on, with no end in sight. Except maybe April 6 in Indianapolis.
So how about a game of Kentucky Jeopardy? First, we give the answers, using some of those Wildcat statistics from the sports information office that are making the needle on the wow-o-meter jump. Then, the questions. It’s one way to understand the sheer tonnage of numbers piling up at the moment in Lexington.
Answer is … 22 minutes and 11 seconds.
How long has Kentucky trailed in five games and 200 minutes against five ranked opponents — Kansas, Providence, North Carolina, Texas and Louisville? Or probably only double what it took to get through five pre-game national anthems. For the entire season, the 27-0 Wildcats have been behind for only 149 minutes out of 1,095.
Answer is … 992 and 996.
How many points has Kentucky scored in the first and second halves this season? Consistency, might be the word to come to mind.
Answer is … 35.2 percent, by Stanford in 2000.
What’s the best season defensive field goal percentage ever recorded since the NCAA began officially keeping track of the number nearly 40 years ago? Kentucky’s, by the way, is currently at 34.2.
Answer is … 29.6.
What’s the shooting percentage allowed Kentucky’s five ranked opponents? That included the 19.6 brick-a-thon by Kansas.
Answer is … 188.
How many of the 1,461 shots taken by Kentucky opponents have been swatted away? That translates to 13 percent, or nearly one block in every eight field goal attempts.
Answer is … zero.
How many Kentucky players rank in the top 250 nationally in scoring average? Devin Booker and Aaron Harrison are the current Wildcat co-leaders at a modest 11.0. The difference between No. 1 on the Kentucky list and No. 7 is 3.5 points a game. Eight different players have led or co-led the team in scoring in a game.
Answer is … 23.5.
How many minutes, on average, do Kentucky’s starters play in a game? John Calipari just sends in the next wave. “I can’t imagine what their practices are like,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. The starters at Duke and Wisconsin average 30 minutes.
Answer is … six.
How many of its 27 opponents have finished within single digits of Kentucky? The current average margin of victory is 22.1. The average winning margin against the five ranked opponents is 17.2.
Answer is … 100-4.
What is Calipari’s record as a Kentucky coach in Rupp Arena? “This is a hard place for an opponent to come and play,” he was saying. Yeah, and the Arctic Ocean is a hard place to go and water ski.
Answer is … four.
How many players in the Kentucky rotation are 6-foot-10 or taller?
Answer is … 59 percent.
What is the percentage of Kentucky baskets that come off assists? The Wildcats had 25 assists against Auburn. Compare and contrast to that the Kentucky-Louisville game. The Cardinals had one.
Answer is … one hour and 45 minutes.
How long, according to Calipari, are Kentucky’s longest practices right now? He said he is even giving the Wildcats two days off a week. “Last year at this time, we were practicing three hours a day,” he said. “I trust them. I trust giving them time. I couldn’t do it last year.”
Answer is … three.
How many different schools has Calipari coached to 26-0 starts? Massachusetts, Memphis and Kentucky. This is the first time he’s gone 27-0. This is the fourth in 20 years he is coaching the last unbeaten team standing.
Answer is … 88 feet.
What’s the combined wing span of Kentucky’s 13 scholarship players, according to the school’s sports information department? In other words, you could line up the 13 Wildcats and nearly go baseline to baseline.
Answer is … nine
How many of the 27 opponents managed to score more than 55 points against Kentucky this season? Meanwhile, the Wildcats have been held under 60 four times — and won those four by an average of 13 points a game.
Answer is … seven.
How many unbeaten national champions have there been? That’s a number we might need to keep handy in a few weeks.