Blog Entry

Guess who loses on the road? Almost everybody

Posted on: January 14, 2012 5:09 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 5:17 pm
By Gary Parrish

My colleague Jeff Borzello wrote earlier about the difficulty of winning away games because he knew we were about to start a Saturday featuring nine ranked teams playing unranked teams on the road, and we all knew at least one of them (and probably more) would take a loss.

How'd we know, you ask?

Because it happens every weekend.

Ranked teams lose to unranked teams on the road with great regularity. It's as much a part of the sport as recruiting scandals and Dick Vitale. And though I realize everybody knows this and basicaly accepts it as a fact of life, I do wonder if most fans truly understand just how difficult it is to win away games.

The proof is in the details.

Consider that the four Final Four participants (Connecticut, Butler, Kentucky and VCU) combined to go 23-24 in true road games last season, and that the 2010 national champion (Duke) finished 5-5 in true road games. Translation: Even the best often struggle away from home, and only elite power-conference schools (North Carolina in 2009 comes to mind) regularly avoid the upsets most cannot.

So fans of No. 18 Kansas State can be upset with that loss at unranked Oklahoma. And fans of No. 13 Michigan can be upset with that loss at unranked Iowa. And fans of No. 7 Michigan State can be upset with that loss at unranked Northwestern. And fans of No. 3 North Carolina can be upset with that loss at unranked Florida State (especially since it was so lopsided). They're all losses and fans hate to lose. So I understand. But the reality is that these types of losses, in this sport, just kinda happen. Sometimes, sure, they represent a sign that a team might be as overrated as the cliched chant suggests. But in most cases, honestly, it's just the price you pay for going on the road.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2012 4:29 pm

Guess who loses on the road? Almost everybody

This is one of the inequalities of NCAA basketball.  A team like Syracuse can stack themselves with tons of home games by paying other schools to come in and play them. Over the past few years they have spent over a million dollars doing that. They get a nice record, but never have to leave the freindly confines of New York.    As of right now, they have played 13 home games, 2 neutral court games, and 4 away games.  This helps build confidence in the players. They think they can win so they play hard.  These gaudy records built on heavy homecourt schedules do help in seeding in the NCAA's.   They might even get a very nice seeded spot on the east coast.

Since: Feb 6, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:42 am

Guess who loses on the road? Almost everybody

That's why you have to move Murray State up a notch. Even though they lost their starting center, Ivan Aska, they continue to remain undefeated. Reguardless of what you might think about the OVC,3 for 6 in their last NCAA tournament games, they are for real.What makes them especially dangerous at cruch time is their 76 % free throw rating. Go Racers. Well done fans. Largest home game crowd ever!

Since: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 5:37 am

Guess who loses on the road? Almost everybody

UCONN didn't lose at Notre Dame and broke their 28 game home win streak. You didn't even mention it because you picked them as your upset special. Classy and professional!!!!

Since: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:35 pm

Guess who loses on the road? Almost everybody

think of this every you talk so much trash of syracuse road schedule like its the most important part of college basketball,  and then when a team that you are extremely invested in and incredibly overrated in the preseason gets a dose of reality its suddenly no big deal. At least take it like a man when all of you "experts" are wrong, when a team like uk keeps squeaking out wins against the worst of the sec its because when your name is kentucky you get everyones best shot, well i would think that applies to the number 1 team in the country. Also when a team like unc keeps losing those two still th best in the nation because of your preconceived notions on who is more "talent" and who should be better. you pick shabazz napier as lotto pick in the next nba draft so i think we all can tell your basis of talent is extremely off.

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