Roanoke’s Cregger Center has a big “wow” factor. If you ask Mathematica, a software package used extensively at Roanoke, it will verify that the title “Cregger > Cameron” is true.* It may be that Mathematica is making a statement about alphabetical order, but it might be making a value judgment about the spacious new Cregger Center and its Maroon inhabitants compared to Duke University’s cramped, historic Cameron Indoor Stadium and its Crazy inhabitants. However, I prefer to think that Mathematica knows about recent research from Roanoke College’s Stat Crew.
The Crew scraped data for all basketball games this season, for both Division I and Division III (where Roanoke plays). Each team was analyzed as separate home and road teams. For example, Roanoke’s 13 home games were played by “@Roanoke” and its 13 road games played by a different “Roanoke” team. Each half-team is rated using what is known as the Massey Method, which incorporates strength of schedule and results (see the site roanoke.edu/mcsp/minton/bynumbers.html for a description of this method). A team’s “home court advantage” is then computed as the difference between the team’s home rating and road rating.
Roanoke College had the fifth largest home court advantage in the nation, rating a full 15 points better at home. Duke, on the other hand, rates 2 points better at home. This is less than the national average of 2.8 points home advantage. So the Cregger Center gave a bigger boost to RC than Cameron gave to Duke! For those who are curious, the largest Division I home advantage belongs to Florida State at 15.5 points, while the largest disadvantage belongs to San Diego, which played 11.7 points better on the road than at home.
The Cregger Center is a fantastic facility that offers many advantages to Roanoke College. A large home court advantage for the basketball team is one of them. Go, Maroons!
* This is not modern “fake news” but a more traditional misleading and exaggerated statement. Mathematica is actually evasive when asked directly whether “Cregger > Cameron” is true, but when ordering a list from largest to smallest it will place Cregger before Cameron.