Ranking the Top 5 Home Courts in the AAC
Top 5 Home Court Advantages in the AAC
A great head coach, a good staff and talented players all factor in to building a winning program. But, perhaps one of the most important aspects is the home court advantage.
When programs have a raucous, passionate fan base, not only do opponents have to worry about what's happening on the court, they also have to deal with the noise and hostility of playing on the road. Over the years, home court advantage has become more and more of a factor for visiting teams.
Fans are coming up with new and innovative ways to create distractions for opponents. Watching games, you might see some holding up huge heads of players, coaches or even random celebrities. You'll hear unique chants from the student sections and maybe even see a guy with his shirt off slinging it around his head.
With each year, fans are getting louder and creating new ways to get under the skin of the opposition.
College basketball has many courts that are nearly impossible to come in and steal a victory on the road. The American Athletic Conference, formerly the Big East, begins its first season this year and it also has a number of teams that have a decisive home court advantage.
The following list ranks the top five programs in the AAC with the best home court advantages in ascending order to the fifth to first toughest place to win at. These schools are the hardest places for opponents to go into and win based on their past home record.
No.5 Connecticut Huskies
The Connecticut Huskies have one of the better home court advantages in the country.They primarily play in the Hartford Civic Center, where the Huskies have amassed a 292-93 record (.758 winning percentage). They also sometimes play in the Gampell Pavilion, holding a 83-14 record in games there since 1989-90. Their home record is 68th in the country, which ranks according to each program's record at their current arena, not all-time.
No.4 Temple Owls
The Liacouras Center, home to the Temple Owls, is one of those mid-sized arenas (10,206 capacity) that traps all the noise and makes it hard for opponents to focus. Since it opened in 1997, Temple has gone 171-46 (.788 winning percentage), ranking them 42nd in the nation. The Temple student section is known for their large-head cutouts, which they wave around while other teams attempt free throws. In 2012, they finished 14-3 at home.
No.3 Cincinnati Bearcats
The Cincinnati Bearcats are awfully tough to beat at home in Fifth Thirds Arena. Holding 13,176, the design of the arena, like Temple, makes the noise level very loud. They've been playing there since 1989, and have a 323-71 record in 23 years. The Bearcats home record in their current arena is 24th in the NCAA. Home wasn't as dominant as it had been in 2012 (13-5), but Fifth Thirds Arena remains one of the most difficult places to win in.
No.2 Louisville Cardinals
The Yum! Center has only been home to the Louisville Cardinals since 2010, but it is quickly becoming one of the best home court advantages in college basketball. Since it opened, the Cardinals are 50-7 (.877 winning percentage), which is sixth in the country. Louisville went 15-1 at home last year and teams will continue to have a hard time playing winning with 22,000 screaming fans. It should also be noted that they held a 684-141 record at Freedom Hall (1959-2010) before moving to their new arena.
No.1 Memphis Tigers
The toughest place for opponents to win on the road at in the AAC is the Memphis Tigers home in FedExForum. The Tigers moved from The Pyramid to their new home in 2004, and since then they have posted a 162-18 record for a .900 winning percentage, second in the NCAA behind only Gonzaga. Memphis one of only two teams in the country to have a home-winning percentage in the .9 percentile. Year after year, the Tigers have one of the best records at home and were 17-1 last season. There is no other place in the AAC where it will be harder for the opposition to get a road win than in the Bluff City.