The home-court advantage in NCAA Division-I men’s basketball
Keywords:Performance analysis of sport, Coaching, Statistics, Sport
The purpose of the present study was to examine the differences in game-related statistics between home and away games at the NCAA Division-I level of men’s basketball competition. The data scraping technique was used to obtain publicly available box scores during the 2018-19 competitive season. Throughout this period, 2181 home and 2205 away box scores were randomly selected across 353 teams, regardless of the winning or losing game outcome. The findings of the present study revealed that the game-related statistics influenced by the game location, listed in descending order of magnitude, were: assists (AS), personal fouls (PF), field-goal percentage (FG%), free-throw attempts (FTA), blocks (BL), defensive rebounds (DRB), turnovers (TO), steals (ST), and three-point shooting percentage (3P%). During home games, the teams tended to display better decision-making processes (i.e., more AS and ST, and less TO), defensive performance (i.e., more DRB and BL), shooting efficiency (i.e., greater FT% and 3P%), and minimize tactical errors (i.e., less PF and more FTA). Overall, these findings suggest that playing on a home-court provides a significant advantage in securing the desired game outcome and provides insight into what game-related statistics contribute most to this effect.
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