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The Ivy League: Deck Shoes Feel Best at Home Port

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Last year I had taken a look at how Ivy League teams were performing on the road against performing at home. The impetus of it was simple: Everyone talks about how difficult it is to be an athlete at an Ivy League, and when you throw in all the travel attendant in the conference to various outposts -- I'm looking at you, Hanover and Ithaca -- there's a pretty reasonable expectation that teams would perform worse away from their home field than they would at their preferred stomping grounds.

The results from that analysis kind of confirmed that teams in the league were struggling in-conference when asked to board a bus: With the exception of Brown, the entire membership saw a noticeable drop in efficiency margin* when playing on the road.

I could have let that analysis sit and leave it in the bowels of 2011, but with the Ivy League Tournament rapidly approaching and at least one actual contender to Cornell's throne existing, it may be worth revisiting the analysis for the simple fact that the league's top-seed has the honor of hosting all games in the conference's post-season tournament.

The results are not too different from those in 2012: The majority of the league's membership is performing worse on the road than they are at home, although two clubs -- Brown and Pennsylvania -- are actually doing a better job in away scenarios than they are on their home turf. Weirdos.

Immediately below is a table detailing the differences. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The efficiency margin values are adjusted for in-conference competition. So, the values are reflective of whether a team has played a nightmarish or dreamy conference slate thus far. We try to keep things somewhat fair around these parts, son.
  • The data is updated through Sunday's games. So, it's as fresh as it could possibly be.
  • Don't read tangential stuff into this graph, such as, "Bryant is totally screwed when they head to New Haven because Yale is playing at home." Remember: These are conference-only values. Be mindful of the scope.

Ready? Set? Table!

Dartmouth 3.42 -12.16 -15.58
Yale 2.67 -5.28 -7.95
Princeton 20.69 13.93 -6.76
Cornell 12.68 7.50 -5.18
Harvard -0.07 -1.24 -1.17
Pennsylvania -1.54 0.91 +2.45
Brown -6.16 0.63 +6.79

Dearest Brown: Shine on, you crazy diamond.

* Here's the quick and dirty on efficiency margin -- it measures the overall strength of a team (how powerful a team's offense is and how stingy its defense is). For example, a team that scores on every single one of its offensive possessions and doesn't ever yield a goal on any its defensive possessions would have an efficiency margin of 100. A team in the inverse -- never scoring and always yielding -- would have an efficiency margin of -100.