"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Monday, August 08, 2005

The road in the Big East--not so tough?.

Ken Pomeroy has an interesting analysis on what he calls "Rabid Crowd Theory" which suggests that the road in the Big East won't be as tough as many MU fans believe.

His thesis:
"Most of the home court advantage is the result of simply being able to maintain one's normal routine, play in familiar confines, etc. Sure, it's harder to win at Cameron Indoor, but that has much more to do with the team you have to play there than any intimidation by the fans. "

He then goes on to rank conferences based on home winning percentage in league games.

Here's the amazing conclusion. Of 31 conferences, the Big East is actually has one of the smallest home court advantages of any league!

Using 2004-05 data, the Big East is ranked 26th overall. By comparison, the CUSA is ranked 21st--the home team has a slightly better home court advantage in CUSA.

21. Conference USA 69-43 .616
26. Big East 56-40 .583

The best home court advantage? The Big Sky, where the home team won over 75% of all games. Of the big six major conferences, the Big Ten ranked 8th overall and sports a 66% home winning percentage. See all rankings at Ken's site.

And lest someone think that this is a one year phenomenon, Pomeroy also ranked conferences using the last five years worth of data.

The Big East did show a slight iprovement, coming in at #20. C-USA was middle of the pack, ranking 15th.

His conclusion: the "rabid crowd factor" largely doesn't exist. Home court advantage is driven more by factors that affect basketball as a whole (travel, change in routine, etc.) have more impact than factors specific to any conference (size/intensity of crowds, or "dominant courts").

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