Using the game-by-game data of the 5,000 college basketball games per season, you can easily quantify the home-court advantage. In 2005-06, take two otherwise identical teams (expected winning percentage of 50/50 on a neutral court) and the home team would be expected to win 67.26% of the time. However, the benefit of the home court diminishes as the difference in the quality of the teams increases. For example, Illinois would be expected to beat #161 ranked Wyoming 97.8% of the time on a neutral court and approximately 98.9% of the time at home.
So if we can quantify the 'typical' home-court advantage, we can see how the home-court advantage varies by conference in conference play. If you've paid any attention to the Big Ten this year, you know that it was extremely tough to win on the road. And the numbers this year bear this out.
'EXP WIN' is the average expected winning percentage for the home team adjusting for the quality of the teams in question and factoring in a 'typical' home-court advantage. 'ACT WIN' is the actual winning percentage of the home team. The +/- can be attributed at least partially to conference-specific home-court advantage. The numbers prove what we've known all along...it's tough to win on the road in the Big Ten. However, it's surprising just how far ahead we are compared to other conferences (hey, we may not have any teams in the Sweet 16, but at least we're first in something!).
Because the numbers can be skewed from upsets, etc., I need to look at 3+ years of history to see if these differences are anamolies or true trends. I suspect we'll still see a positive number in the Big Ten, but maybe not quite as big. (Sneak preview: in 2005, the Big Ten was third overall at +5.55%)
|Conference||Exp Win||Act Win||Diff|