Sunday, February 24, 2013

How many points is home-court advantage?

How many points is home-court advantage. Putting a number on this stat is extremely difficult so let me begin by stating how home court yields an advantage. When a team plays at home, they have both the fans and refs by their side. As much as people will deny that the fans influence the referees, no human being will willingly make 15,000+ fans hate their guts whenever they call a foul or blow their whistle. As a result, the referees are more likely to call fewer fouls against the home team and more against the home team. The fans will then attempt to distract the opposing free-throw shooters and offense in order to make an impact on the game.

In this post, I will be looking at the more consistent teams with a high average home attendance in order to formulate an average of how many points home-court advantage yields based on home-and-away conference match ups.
Now let me explain the process of this calculation before I give you a number. So let me show you the equation:

Home Margin—Away Margin= Difference
Difference/2= Home-Court Advantage

In order to make this number as accurate as possible, I took scores from schools that are renowned for having a daunting home-court advantage like Gonzaga, Kentucky, Florida, Arizona, Duke, UCLA, etc. I then sampled from 106 games in which the team played home and away against the same opponent to formulate this number: (drumroll please)

   4.8679 points from Home-Court Advantage

This pretty much explains why the teams that I have listed have won some thrillers this year when they played at home. By using this stat, maybe we can project the scores of any neutral-site, regular-season rematches during March Madness