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The Big Ten and Home Court Advantage

3/20/2006

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
B10 62.37% 70.45% +8.09%
WAC 61.23% 65.33% +4.11%
CUSA 61.49% 65.52% +4.03%
Col 59.63% 63.64% +4.01%
B12 62.83% 66.67% +3.84%
MVC 61.37% 64.44% +3.07%
MidCn 62.55% 65.33% +2.78%
Sthrn 62.75% 65.06% +2.31%
Hor 64.04% 66.23% +2.19%
MtnW 62.58% 63.89% +1.30%
BEast 62.05% 63.28% +1.23%
A10 61.79% 62.07% +0.28%
ACC 62.30% 62.50% +0.20%
MAC 62.37% 62.50% +0.13%
SunB 62.91% 62.96% +0.06%
OVC 61.38% 60.53% -0.85%
BigS 62.56% 61.54% -1.02%
NE 64.56% 63.21% -1.36%
BSky 64.42% 62.71% -1.71%
SEC 62.69% 60.20% -2.49%
SWAC 62.70% 60.00% -2.70%
Sland 63.07% 60.00% -3.07%
Pat 61.05% 57.38% -3.68%
Ivy 62.83% 58.93% -3.90%
AmE 64.47% 60.00% -4.47%
WCC 63.32% 58.62% -4.70%
ASun 59.96% 54.95% -5.01%
MEAC 62.18% 57.14% -5.04%
P10 63.52% 58.06% -5.45%
MAAC 63.10% 53.85% -9.25%
BigW 62.12% 46.43% -15.69%

1 comments:

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Thank you! This is what I was looking for. Big 10 has a huge home court advantage.

 
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