Connecticut native Peter Barston (MSB ’16) is one of our new print columnists this semester, with the first edition of Nutmeg Statements slated for this Friday’s issue of The Hoya. Consider this his introduction.
Every Big East hoops game is a battle — night in and night out. Every single point matters. Every school likes to believe its fans are the most passionate and deliver the best home court advantage, but surely there must be differences between them, right? With this notion in mind, I set out to see which team’s combination of arena and fans gives it the biggest scoring edge.
My work was based on an article that recently appeared on the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective’s website. Using the home and away point differentials of NFL teams, the analysis found that the Seattle Seahawks had the best home field advantage. In fact, CenturyLink Field provided almost 80 points of home field advantage per season to the Seahawks.
I applied the same methodology to the “Catholic Seven” basketball teams, analyzing their performance in their eighteen Big East games each season over the past five seasons:
My results show that Marquette had far and away the best home court advantage of the Catholic Seven over the past five years. The Bradley Center provided Marquette an average of 99.4 additional points per season.
DePaul finds itself on the other end of the spectrum. The Allstate Arena, a 15-mile trek from the Blue Demons’ downtown Chicago campus, provided an average of a mere 35.8 additional points per season.
You may be surprised to see that, based on this simple analysis, our Georgetown Hoyas had the second-worst home court advantage over the past five years of Big East conference play. The Verizon Center — not the most convenient arena to get to from campus, as we all know — provided an average of just 43.8 additional points per season.
Still looking for explanations of the Blue and Gray’s 73-48 shellacking last week at the hands of Pitt? One of many, at least, is that the confines of Verizon are evidently nowhere near as intimidating as GU supporters (and JTIII himself) would like.