clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Can We Stop With This Unfair Home-Court Advantage Crap?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Somehow over the last week, the fact that UNC's route through the tournament goes through Raleigh and Charlotte has really begun to irk people. Chief among them Rick Pitino, in a passive-agressive sort of way:

"Tell Roy to get on a plane for the first time and let's play the game at Freedom Hall (Louisville's home building) if he feels that way," Pitino said. "I won't disagree with him, let's go to Freedom Hall and I'll admit to a home-court advantage. Go to Lexington for that matter and play at (Rupp Arena). No, I think those are mannequins dressed in powder blue. I don't think there is a home-court advantage.

"There is a very strong home-court advantage but they deserve it. That's the bottom line. They're the No. 1 seed, but to say there's no home-court advantage, that doesn't mean we don't have the ability to win. They deserve the people because they were the No. 1 team in the country."

Look, if you don't want a team's path to the Final Four to be entirely in-state, there's a simple solution - put the different sites in different states. There are - hold on, let me count - fifty of the damn things, each with quite a few stadiums. I'm pretty sure we could swing this if we want.

But this attitude of shocked surprise coming from the media is a bit much for me. I've known for months that the East Regional was in Charlotte and the opening rounds were in Raleigh. How? Because the media wouldn't shut up about it. Every Carolina-Duke game, it was mention at least a half-dozen times as the carrot being dangled in front of both teams. Every mention of the ACC standings, Raleigh and Charlotte would come up. All through the ACC Tournament, talk about Raleigh and Charlotte. And yet through all of this, no one thought it was unfair until UNC started ripping through teams like a buzzsaw. This Carolina team could have played three road games and still put up huge margins against their opponents. And should the Heels make it to San Antonio, well, I'm pretty sure there will be a fair amount of Carolina Blue in the stands there as well.

I could also do without ever hearing this stat ever again:

And for those who do not think it matters, I would invite you to explain how North Carolina is 24-1 (96 percent) in NCAA tournament games played inside the state of North Carolina and just 71-37 (66 percent) in NCAA tournament games played outside the state of North Carolina.

That's not a coincidence.

How about - and this is just me tossing this out here - because UNC's been a number one seed practically every time they've played in North Carolina[*]? Because that's how they've rewarded top seeds since they instituted seeding, by playing the opening rounds at the closest site? Have you never seen one of these tournaments before?

Again, if you really don't think this is fair, it can easily be fixed long before the season starts. But since it's only bothering you now that the stands are filled with Tar Heels, well, I'll try to get the Tiny Violin Orchestra together for you.