Gotta Win at Home – From the Bird’s Nest
Winning on the road is difficult in college basketball.
Don't agree? Ask UTA.
The preseason favorite in the Sun Belt Conference was blown out by Coastal Carolina and then fell behind by twenty at App State before falling just short.
Don't agree? Ask Georgia State.
Another school picked near the top that stumbled away from home. They were blown out at South Alabama, then squandered a double digit lead at Troy.
Texas State and Georgia Southern managed to get wins on the road this week, with the Bobcats beating Coastal Carolina and the Eagles slipping by Troy. And, as you know, Louisiana won both ends of their trip to Arkansas.
In the Sun Belt, there is always a big disparity between play at home and play on the road. The home team wins more often than not.
And,, that's why the Sun Belt will be won this year by the team that does the best job taking care of its home business.
The teams that have started 0-2 have all done so by losing on the road twice. ULM, Georgia State and UTA failed to get anything done away from home. As the season progresses, there's a good chance other teams will join them as squads that found the going tough on the road. Some of those scores are going to be a surprise to some.
Fans have a tendency to automatically look at home games as wins. And, more often than not, they're going to be right.
But it should be noted, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns have never had an undefeated season at the Cajundome. In fact, in the modern era, only one team, the 1972-73 squad that was ranked #7 in the nation, managed to get through the home schedule unscathed.
So, as we watch the Sun Belt unfold, it would be wise to not only look at scores, but also where the games are played.
Those who do the best job of protecting their home court are the ones who are near the top of the league in early March.
Here are your standings after the first weekend of league play
South Alabama 2-0
Appalachian State 2-0
Coastal Carolina 1-1
Georgia Southern 1-1
Arkansas State 1-1
Little Rock 1-1
Texas State 1-1
Georgia State 0-2