Commentary

Myths of home-court advantage

Think Kansas holds the biggest home edge? Kentucky? Duke? Guess again

Updated: February 2, 2012, 3:36 PM ET
By Ken Pomeroy | Special to ESPN Insider
TBDCourtesy of KU AthleticsAllen Fieldhouse is one of college hoops' best arenas, but its advantage for Kansas is limited.

When fans think of the most difficult venues for road teams, they think of places like Cameron Indoor Stadium and Allen Fieldhouse -- loud, raucous venues that both stun the visitors and energize the home team. And indeed the home courts of Duke and Kansas certainly meet those criteria, and the Blue Devils and Jayhawks win a very high percentage of games there.

The same is true for the owners of the nation's longest active home-court winning streaks -- Kentucky, Ohio State and North Carolina. But there's more to home-court advantage than just the home crowd. Much more.

For starters, the thing that all of these teams above have in common is that they're very good. In discussing home-court advantage, it's important to clarify something: Home-court advantage is not just how well a team plays at home. The "advantage" is how much a team's home court adds to its performance relative to its performance on the road.

So rather than simply looking at teams' home margins of victory, we're looking at their home scoring margins compared to their road scoring margins.

If you're keen for a little more detail on my methodology, check out the sidebar to the right. But if you're eager to jump ahead and see which college teams enjoy the biggest boosts at home, take a look at the list below. The results will surprise you.