Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No place like home in the WNIT

Wanna win an easy bet? Challenge a friend to a pick-the-games-in-the-WNIT contest. And while they spend hours analyzing the various matchups, take about five minutes and pick every home team.

Then cut us in on your winnings.

The home court has historically been a wildly accurate predictor of final results in the WNIT, which this year will include 63 games and no neutral sites. The trend is particularly striking in the early rounds. Last year, for example, home teams went 14-2 in the first round, 15-1 in the second. Two years ago, host schools were 27-5 through the opening two rounds. In 2007, they went 28-4.

Overall, home teams won 81 percent of all WNIT games in 2008 and 2009. In 2007, home teams prevailed at an 85-percent clip.

This is great news for Old Dominion, which will enjoy the cozy confines of the Constant Center tonight against American. And it points out how the deck is stacked against Richmond, which visits Delaware Thursday, and VCU, which will travel to St. Joseph's the same day.

This isn't to say the Spiders and Rams can't win. But when it comes to having success in the WNIT, if you're playing on your home court, you can pretty much bet on it.

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