Monday, February 04, 2013

MAC Men's Basketball Home Court Advantage Dwindles

A couple years ago, I did an analysis of MAC men's basketball records at home for the preceeding five years.  The purpose was to analyze whether it was true when everyone said (all the time) how hard it was to win on the road in the MAC.

There were two main conclusions.  Over those five years, the home team had won 66% of the games in conference...and it ran up and down the league...only one team had a losing home record for those five seasons.

Flash forward to, well, now.  Over the weekend I saw a twitter exchange between Ryan Autullo and John Wagner of The Blade.  Ryan noted that the home team advantage has been way down this year in the MAC for men's basketball.

I ran the numbers this morning.  To date, home teams are only 25-22 in the MAC, for a 53% winning percentage.  This is pretty huge.  It is a completely different way of looking at the game, when teams are not consistently holding serve at home.

I'm not sure why this is.  I suspect that one reason is that you have a more top-heavy conference and less parity.  Akron has not lost on the road at all and OU has only lost once.  When there was more parity, you had more teams lower in the standings who were still good enough to win at home against the better teams.

It may just be that the top teams are now better than the lower teams, even on the road.

Or, it could be a small sample effect, not to be a killjoy.

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