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Dome On The Range

Some ACC teams like to stay at home more than others.

NCAA Basketball: Oakland at Syracuse
Nov 20, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Oshae Brissett (11) drives to the basket against Oakland Golden Grizzlies guard Kendrick Nunn (1) during the first half at the Carrier Dome.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

No one will be surprised that Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse squads lead the ACC in average home games per season. This is a notorious Boeheim stratagem.

Among programs that have been in the conference since the expansion of 2014, the Orange easily outstrip everyone else with 19 home games annually. They’re right on their average this year too. That matches the new regimes at Louisville and NC State, where shaving the odds is a more excusable safety measure, and the second-year tenure of Josh Pastner at Georgia Tech.

Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, another Big East alum, comes in second in home game average at 17.4 over these past five seasons. This year he’s cut back.

At the other end of the spectrum, FSU and UNC are on friendly floors the least, averaging 16 home dates over the past half-decade. They were the only clubs that went undefeated on their own courts in ACC action last season.

Virginia is close behind at 16.2 home games per year under Tony Bennett, whose Cavaliers lost at JPJ Arena three times in 2017.

We don’t need to go into all the reasons it’s more advantageous to stay home rather than play on the road, from the physical to the psychological. One notes that the longer ACC coaches remain on the job, the more willing they seem to venture away from the safety of their lairs.

Is there a direct correlation between home games and victories? Not so much. Of the six greediest serial devourers of home cooking, only Syracuse in 2014 and Louisville in 2017 finished among the top three in the ACC. Boeheim’s team finished second after running off 25 in a row to open its debut season as an ACC member.

HOME BODIES
ACC Men’s Home Games Since 2014 Season, Average Under Current Coach
School 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 Total Avg.
UL 19 17* 19 19 NA 19 19.0
NS 19 18* 18 20 19 19 19.0
SU 19 19 17 20 18 93 18.6
GT 19 18 18* 16 17 37 18.5
PU 18 18 19* 18 19 36 18.0
VT 18 17 18 18 18* 71 17.8
ND 15 18 16 19 19 87 17.4
BC 17 18 17 17 13* 69 17.3
UM 15 17 17 19 16 84 16.8
D 16 16 18 16 17 83 16.6
C 16 15 17 17 17 82 16.4
V 17 16 15 16 17 81 16.2
FS 15 18 14 18 15 80 16.0
NC 15 16 16 15 18 80 16.0
WF 16 14 15 18 18* 63 15.8
* Last season under preceding coach.