This is a good time to bring this up, considering we’re playing one of the best home teams in the country. I heard Gottlieb and Brennan’s podcast from the other day mention something about the ball that is used in the Kohl Center, which I don’t remember ever hearing somebody mention… sure enough, a quick google search brings up an article from last year about it.
Article basically says that Wisconsin is the only team in the country that uses the Sterling ball, and it’s not clear whether or not they give their opponents this same ball to warm-up with during pre-game.
On top of that, I’m lifting this from the Illini scout board because it saves me some time, but here are the home-court advantages in the big10 this year… makes you worry a little bit more about that NW game :-\
Massey calculates home court advantage on his page: [url=http://www.masseyratings.com/r...11&sub=NCAA]http://www.masseyratings.com/r...11&sub=NCAA[/url] I&mid=1
Wisconsin’s home court advantage this year is 5.53 points (#21 in Div I). It would surely be higher if Wisconsin hadn’t crushed Northwestern on the road.
Here are the home court advantages from Big Ten teams:
Northwestern: 5.57 (#20)
Wisconsin: 5.53 (#21)
Indiana: 5.50 (#23)
Illinois: 5.40 (#26)
Michigan State: 5.12 (#42)
Iowa: 5.00 (#50)
Purdue: 4.95 (#54)
Michigan: 4.64 (#91)
Penn State: 4.55 (#98)
Ohio State: 4.40 (#115)
Minnesota: 3.64 (#206)
Average advantage in Division I: 3.92
Average advantage in the Big Ten: 4.94
Highest in Div I: Northern Colorado at 7.13
Lowest in Div I: Rider at 1.16
Pac-10 has the biggest average at 5.33. This could be more about how they schedule games in pairs with short turnarounds than anything about the arena, crowds, refs, etc.
Big 12 is close behind at 5.28.
Big East, ACC and SEC are all considerably lower.