Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

March 17, 2009

Villanova, Home Court, and the Odds

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Gasaway @ 1:46 pm

Since posting the log5 previews for the East and Midwest a few minutes ago, I’ve received multiple inquiries wondering whether the probabilities listed for Villanova reflect the fact that the Wildcats will be playing their first- and (they hope) second-round games in Philadelphia at the Wachovia Center, where Jay Wright‘s team played three regular season home games this year.

The answer is no: the numbers assume a neutral floor. Use these figures accordingly.

Obviously Villanova gets a boost from playing at home. (I actually think they get more of a boost from their opponent flying across three time zones, assuming UCLA does indeed meet up with ‘Nova.) I would only add one cautionary reminder.

Two years ago everyone outside the state of Texas went absolutely nuts when three-seed Texas A&M was put in a San Antonio bracket on the second weekend with one-seed Ohio State and two-seed Memphis. Buckeye fans in particular were livid. But, as it happened, the Tigers edged the Aggies in the Sweet 16 and the world continued spinning.

Not apples to apples, I know. Philly is more synonymous with Villanova than San Antonio is with A&M. Still, keep in mind Georgetown, to name one fairly innocuous non-tournament team, played at the Wachovia Center a couple weeks back and won by two. I merely wish to suggest that if the ‘Cats are counting on geography to do all their work, they will be flirting with an early exit.

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