Let's check out a broad view of the Big 12 officiating shall we? Specifically, I want to take a look at the widely accepted belief that across the board, Big 12 road teams get the shaft from the officials. This is something we have all complained about for centuries of Big 12 basketball (centuries?), we all acknowledge that it happens, and we all hate it, Whether it is due to fan/atmosphere influence, not wanting to be booed, or whatever the reason, it seems that in general the home team gets the calls they don't get on the road.
I figured I would quickly pull the home/away splits to see if this is true. I am only using this partially completed season's data, and pulled the splits for home and away Free Throw Attempts and Personal Fouls. The results were interesting.
Note: I am sure this happens in all of college basketball, but the Big East isn't paying me to do their research (and come to think of it neither is the Big 12), and I don't have the
time desire to compare every conference.
A small table:
|In Big 12 play||FTA/game||PF/game|
What at first looks like a quick confirmation of what we have assumed (home teams do shoot 20.6% more free throws than the road team), is thrown for a bit of a loop when you look at total fouls. While road teams are whistled for more fouls, they are only whistled for 1.7 more fouls per game (7%). That means that, assuming a constant for number of fouls that do not result in free throws, fouls that result in a one-and-one, and fouls that result in two free throw attempts, home teams should only shoot about 2 more free throws per game than the road team , yet they shoot 5 more. What could be the explanation for this?
My theory is called "The ol Make Up Call Paradox" (copyright pending).
Think about most Cowboy away games. Where on the court are most of the fouls called on the Cowboys as the away team? Under the basket, right... mostly on drives and shot attempts. Well what happens is the officials are aware of the foul total as well, and try to close the total foul gap by whistling the home team for a few ticky-tack non-shooting fouls out on the perimeter.
Maybe this is correct, maybe not (it is), but at any rate home teams are definitely getting more calls, and a lot more free throw attempts per game than the road teams. Take what you will out of these numbers as there are alternative explanations to "the officials suck". Explanations like:
The home team playing a more aggressive offensive style at home and settling for more jump shots on the road, or
home teams making FTs at a higher rate (73.5% at home, 70.0%% on road) resulting in better chances of getting the bonus FT in one-and-one situations.
And just for the hell of it, here is a look at it by team:
|Team||Home-FTA||Away-FTA||% FTA at home vs away||H-PF||A-PF||% PF at home vs away|
Theoretically, the teams near the top are getting the most home-cooking/road-screw-job. Also, A&M's splits make no fucking sense... I actually had to double check them to make sure they were right (so thorough!).