Monday, March 15, 2010

Bracket Lesson #3: Road/Neutral Records

One of the key stats to look at for your bracket is road/neutral record. It's easy to get fooled by a team that has a bunch of big wins over good teams at home, but has stunk away from the comforts of home. The NCAA Tournament is not a home game, so if you can't win away from home then you're in trouble.

Remember, you can't look at road/neutral records in a vacuum. You've got to compare it with their home record. For example, Kentucky went 13-2 in road/neutral games, but they also went 19-0 at home, so they're not road warriors, they simply won a very high percentage of their games in all locations. Here is a list of the best and worst road teams (my subjective look at home vs road records):

Best Road/Neutral Teams:
Saint Mary's

Worst Road/Neutral Teams:
Texas A&M
Oklahoma State
Georgia Tech
Wake Forest


Miles Rittenberg said...

Id like to see your bracket if you get a chance to put it up. I like your info it's very good statistics.

Stirge said...

Jeff, thanks for taking the time to help those of us who possess (much)less knowledge than we need to fill out the bracket. I promise to donate some winnings should it be successful. Hope to see your bracket tonight.

Unknown said...

ok jeff i say ga tech,fl st,minn, st mary's,louisville early. then butler and god forbid temple. what do want donated to?

Hubbo said...

Can you put up the records of your best road/neutral records? I think New Mexico might belong in there, given their 12-3 record in such games. They seem pretty comparable to Purdue and St. Mary's at first glance.

Or maybe they fit better in that Kentucky scenario you mentioned. Not sure where you draw that line.

Jeff said...

Hubbo, like I said, it is subjective. New Mexico did go 12-3 in road/neutral games, but they also went 17-1 at home. So I held them off because they just won well everywhere. And also, that 12-3 road/neutral record includes that fairly fluke win at BYU when Jimmer Fredette was sick, so I'm not sure how much we even count that one.

Honestly, it's the bad road teams you want to look at. There is really no correlation between teams with great road records and Tournament success, but there is certainly correlation between teams that basically cannot win on the road and Tournament failure. Take Georgia Tech, for example: they went 13-2 at home and 3-8 in true road games. And of those three true road wins, they came over Chattanooga, Charlotte and North Carolina, and the Chattanooga win was the only one that wasn't close in the final 60 seconds. That's a huge warning sign for anybody thinking of picking Georgia Tech.

Anonymous said...

Duke is one of the worst road/neutral teams when they've beaten Gonzaga by 35, won the ACC tourney, won by double digits at Clemson? Yeah, okay buddy.

Jeff said...

This is about comparison between home and road records. Duke went 17-0 in home games, and 6-5 in true road games. That's a very large disparity. Compare that to the other three 1 seeds, who averaged 18 wins and 0.7 losses at home, and 8 wins and 1.7 losses on the road.

Yes, Duke won a lot of quality road games. But they also won a lot more quality home games. They were a very good team in general. This is simply about whether there is a disparity between home and away.

That's why I didn't just type out the best road records, or the worst road records, because without comparison to the home records those numbers don't mean anything. Duke got a 1 seed... they're supposed to have some good road wins.