The UConn Huskies are in the midst of one of the more impressive tournament runs you'll ever see, and the journey continues this weekend in the Final Four. UConn simply refuses to lose, and won nine games in 19 days, including a Big East Tournament championship and the run through the NCAA Tournament thus far. Along the way, we've seen exciting finishes, impressive performances and a star, Kemba Walker, taking over for the Huskies.
UConn has taken care of business in the NCAA Tournament, putting away Bucknell, Cincinnati and San Diego State to advance to the Elite Eight. In the regional finals, with a spot in the Final Four on the line, UConn came up big in the end to down the Arizona Wildcats by two, 65-63. The win sets up a meeting of traditional powers in the Final Four as UConn faces Kentucky on Saturday with a spot in the NCAA Championship up for grabs.
Like we did with VCU, Butler and Kentucky, let's take a look at UConn using Ken Pomeroy's statistics. Check out the UConn team page at Pomeroy's site for more on the Huskies. To find out what these numbers mean, check out Pomeroy's explanation.
KenPom rank: 11, second-highest of the remaining teams. Kentucky is highest-ranked team remaining at No. 4.
Offense: 117.2 offensive efficiency (ranked 11th), 48.5 eFG% (200th), 16.9 turnover percentage (22nd) and 34.2 free throw rate (264th)
Defense: 92.2 defensive efficiency (28th), 45.1 eFG% (21st), 33.5 offensive rebounding percentage allowed (236th), 17.5 turnover percentage (310th)
What it means: We know Connecticut can score, and the numbers show the Huskies do it efficiently. But it's not that the Huskies are excellent shooters -- their eFG percentage is well below average. Instead, the Huskies own the offensive glass with an offensive rebounding percentage of 38.5, good for seventh-best in the NCAA. UConn doesn't have a high free throw rate, either, but shoots at a high percentage from the line.
On the defensive end, UConn is above average, but doesn't force turnovers or rebound especially well on the defensive end. Instead, the Huskies force tough shots, limiting opponents to a low effective field goal percentage buoyed by excellent two-point defense -- UConn holds opponents to 43.2 percent from inside the arc. The Huskies can also use their length to block shots, and have a team block percentage of 13.3, ranked No. 23 in the nation.
Star watch: If you've watched any basketball -- any at all -- in the last month, you know who Kemba Walker is. The UConn junior has simply been clutch for the Huskies, pulling off last-second heroics and carrying his team in times of need throughout the Big East Tournament and thus far in the NCAA Tournament. Walker plays an incredible 92.2 percent of the available minutes, posting an ORtg of 118 while using 31.4 percent of the Huskies' possessions and taking 32.9 percent of the shots. His assist rate, 28.2, is the highest on the team and his turnover percentage, 11.4, is the best, as well. Watch Walker, especially in crunch time. You won't regret it.
While Walker is the kind of player that can single-handedly take over, he does have some help. Freshman wing Jeremy Lamb has been outstanding down the stretch, and is an integral part of UConn's run. He's posted an ORtg of 115.2, second-best on the team to Walker, while using 19.3 percent of UConn's possessions and taking 22.9 percent of the shots. His 54.6 eFG percentage is also the best on the team.
In the paint, keep an eye on Alex Oriakhi, whose 112.1 ORtg is third-best on the team. Oriakhi is the team's rebounder, with a team-high offensive rebounding percentage of 14.7 and defensive rebounding percentage of 17.8. Oriakhi also has a block percentage of 5.4, the best on the team. He'll have his hands full with Kentucky's Josh Harrellson or Terrence Jones, so keep an eye on the battle in the paint.
UConn takes the floor in Houston for the Final Four against Kentucky on Saturday. For more previews, check back with our Final Four StoryStream throughout the day. Check out the printable bracket at SB Nation or visit the NCAA Tournament hub for more March Madness coverage