Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Home-court advantage in the NCAA Tourney....sort of

I'm reposting this because I still find it fascinating and nobody else has said a SINGLE WORD about it.....but you, the 4 dozen readers of the BBC know about it. Spread the freakin' word (and maybe kinda give me credit?).
NCAA rules state that no team can play a NCAA Tournament game on their home court. "Home court" is defined as any floor in which the team has played "more than three scheduled games".

I like this rule, as it keeps teams from getting the ultimate advantage in the Big Dance. But Ohio State, thanks to a strange twist of fate, may be getting the next-best thing in the form of a quasi-home-court advantage.

Ohio State just locked up the Big Ten Championship and the #1 seed in the conference tournament. Being #1 in both polls, they have also given themselves a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but there is still a tiny bit of doubt on that.

The Buckeyes will then play their first conference tournament game at Noon on March 9th at the United Center in Chicago.
If they win that game, they play in the Big Ten semifinals on March 10th at the United Center in Chicago.
If they win that game, they play in the Big Ten Championship game on March 11th at...take a wild guess.....the United Center in Chicago.

Winning that Big Ten Tournament will guarantee the Buckeyes the top seed in the Midwest bracket (some say just getting into the championship game of the Big Ten Tourney will do that). They might already have that top seed in the Midwest, as the committee likes to place their #1 teams in their home regions.

Guess what? The top seed in the Midwest bracket plays their first two games....at the United Center in Chicago.

How much of an advantage do YOU think a team would have getting to play 5 straight games on the same floor?


greg456 said...

I read that if OSU gets the top seed, they'll be playing in St. Louis.

Jeff Seemann said...

That is true, but not for the first/second round. St. Louis is the host site for the Midwest Region, rounds 3 and 4.

Here's a link for the sites - http://www.ncaasports.com/basketball/mens/schedules

First/second round sites are Chicago, Columbus, New Orleans, and Spokane.

Sean said...

Very interesting. You're right, I hadn't heard that elsewhere. It's not as good as playing at home, but that's the next best thing. Head out to Chicago for a few days, head home for a few days, then back to Chicago for a few days.