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Barry Jacobs On Home Dominance

Virginia, which thrives in low-scoring action, seemed well on its way to its fifth straight conference victory, leading Georgia Tech 57-48 with 8:12 remaining in the ACC's annual prelude to the Super Bowl.

But, even with six losses in seven previous ACC starts, the Yellow Jackets had one big advantage. They were playing at home.

The Jackets rallied to a 66-60 victory, notching "arguably the biggest win of coach Brian Gregory's two-year tenure," according to Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

While the result buoyed Georgia Tech and seriously diminished the Cavaliers' chances of earning an NCAA bid, it also emphasized an odd ACC trend. Home teams have now won 35 of 50 conference games this season, a 70 percent success rate.

Clearly this is not a sign of estimable competitive health.

Good teams can win regardless of the venue. League leader Miami, 8-0 overall, has five road victories in five tries and already is one shy of the program record for total ACC wins. That's in the Hurricanes' ninth year of conference participation.

This season, anticipating expansion in 2013-14 and beyond, the league schedule was extended to 18 games. So ACC action is not quite half over, and as teams gain cohesion and confidence they're apt to become more formidable on the road.

"I wouldn't say it's experience as much as it is being on the same page, and that's not easy because in the flow of the game…it's hard to hear," says senior Mason Plumlee, part of a Duke squad that went undefeated on the road in the ACC in 2012. "Eyes on the point guard, eyes on the coach, everybody's got to know what you're getting into. There can be a lot of miscommunication, especially down the stretch."

At this point in the season only four ACC squads have even won twice on the road.

Other seasons have seen home teams demonstrate comparable dominance. As recently as 2010 ACC teams won 68.8 percent of the time. Back in 2003 the success rate for hosts was 73.6 percent.

But those were exceptions; since 1954 the league average for home wins in ACC play is 63.4 percent. Since the expansion of 2005, home teams have won 63.7 percent of the time.

Then again, only three schools remain undefeated at home in ACC action - Duke, Miami, and Virginia. Only the Blue Devils and Hurricanes have unblemished home records overall.

Team Records Home And Away
In ACC Competition, 2013
(Through Games of Feb. 3)
School Home Away All
BC 1-3 1-3 2-6
C 4-1 0-4 4-5
D 4-0 2-2 6-2
FSU 2-2 2-2 4-4
GT 2-2 0-4 2-6
M 4-1 0-4 4-5
Mi 3-0 5-0 8-0
NC 3-1 2-2 5-3
NCS 4-1 1-3 5-4
V 4-0 1-3 5-3
VT 1-3 1-3 2-6
WF 3-1 0-5 3-6