The Bottoms Line: Why Aren’t More College Basketball Teams Playing Non-Conference Road Games?

Maybe it was the sheer volume of annoying “Road Test Saturday” promos I saw a couple weekends ago, but I started to wonder why the notion existed that playing non-conference road games was worthy of such special billing.  After doing some research this weekend, I no longer need to wonder.

What I found is a staggering lack of road games for college basketball teams from major conferences.

College Basketball’s Dearth of Non-Conference Road Games

Through Sunday’s games, teams in the six “BCS” conferences have a combined record of 552-212.  However, just 122 of those 764 games (16 percent) have been true road games.  In fact, major conferences teams are an ugly 57-65 in games held on their opponents’ home floor.

indiana-kentucky-victor-oladipoImage credit: AP Photo/Darron Cummings via Crimson Quarry

Given that there are 74 teams within those six leagues, that averages out to 0.77 road wins per team and just 1.65 road games per squad.  Thirty-four of those 74 teams have played one or fewer road games, and eight of them have played none.  To look at it in a slightly different way, just 14 squads have taken more than two road trips through more than a month of the season.

As if these numbers didn’t seem bad enough, factor in that 24 of these road games were part of the Big Ten/ACC and Big East/SEC Challenges where the teams essentially had no choice in the matter.

In addition to the lack of quantity, there is also a lack of quality road victories for these teams, which shows that many of the road games being scheduled aren’t actually that challenging in the first place.

Here’s a quick rundown for each conference:

Overall Record Road Record Road Winning Pct. % of Road Games % of Wins from Road Games Best Road Wins (Pomeroy)
ACC 83-40 9-14 39.1% 18.7% 10.8% #86 Nebraska, #96 Oregon
Big 12 78-19 7-3 70.0% 10.3% 9.0% #19 BYU, #45 Virginia Tech
Big East 129-39 11-12 47.8% 13.7% 8.5% #1 Wisconsin, #29 Alabama
Big Ten 108-26 11-9 55.0% 14.9% 10.2% #30 Gonzaga, #67 Georgia Tech
Pac-12 72-51 11-12 47.8% 18.7% 15.3% #80 New Mexico State, #86 Nebraska
SEC 82-37 8-15 34.8% 19.3% 9.8% #61 Clemson, #103 Davidson
TOTAL 552-212 57-65 46.7% 16.0% 10.3%



  • The league is 9-14 in road games, with the “best” wins coming against Nebraska and Oregon, who ranked 86th and 96th in Sunday’s Pomeroy Ratings.
  • Four of the nine wins have come against teams ranked 235th or lower.

Big 12:

  • Teams from this conference have played just 10 road games so far this season, with three squads (Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma) yet to play any.
  • In the league’s defense, the Big 12 is 7-3 in road games with five of the wins coming over Top 100 teams.
  • Baylor’s exciting win over 19th-rated BYU is the conference’s best, but given that the 10 teams are a combined 60-1 at home, I guess I can understand their reluctance to leave.

Big East:

  • Over half of the 16-team conference’s teams have played one or fewer road games.  Overall, they are just under .500 at 11-12, but only three of the victories have come against Top 100 teams.
  • That said, Marquette’s win over Wisconsin at the Kohl Center is one of the most impressive road performances of the early season.
  • UConn and Seton Hall both have just one loss but have yet to play a road game.

Big Ten:

  • Six of the league’s 20 road games came during the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, but the conference’s 11-9 record in those 20 contests is good for second best among the six leagues.
  • The best of those 11 victories was Michigan State’s win at Gonzaga, but none of the others came against teams considered to be tournament-worthy.
  • Minnesota has yet to play a true road game and won’t until Big Ten play begins.


  • Despite the fact this is easily the worst of the BCS leagues, the Pac-12’s 11-12 road record is tied for third best.
  • However, the best wins were against 80th-ranked New Mexico State and the aforementioned Cornhuskers, with five of the victories comings against teams outside of the Top 200.
  • For as bad as UCLA has been, they haven’t even played a road game yet, although with Pauley Pavilion being renovated, you could argue they haven’t played a true home game either.


  • Their 8-15 mark is the worst of any of the six major conferences, and only one of the wins (South Carolina’s triumph at Clemson) came against a Top 100 team.
  • It is the only league where each team has played at least one true road game, and it also has the smallest percentage of total wins (65.7) coming from home games.

I also looked at teams ranked in the Top 25 that just came out today.  The 20 major conference teams in the rankings are a combined 17-9 in true road games.  Four of the Top 10 have no road wins at all, and three of the Top 11 haven’t even played a true road game.  In addition, eight of the 26 road games played were a result of one of the aforementioned conference challenges.  Of the 17 wins, seven are against Pomeroy’s Top 100.

The other five teams in the rankings (Xavier, Creighton, Murray State, UNLV, and Harvard) are a combined 14-4 on the road.  To be fair, two of those games came in the Missouri Valley/Mountain West event and nine of the wins have come against teams outside of the Top 150.  Still, they have four Top 100 wins to their credit, but just one of them came against a major conference team since scheduling is such a challenge.

What Are Coaches Thinking?

So what is the conclusion here?  I’m sure it’s not earth-shattering to know that major college coaches are reluctant to challenge their teams with road tests early in the season for fear of losing.  In fact, the Top 25 would actually indicate it’s in their best interest to just rack up wins at home or on neutral floors in the early going.

But if a coach’s job is to prepare their team for the rigors of the conference season and eventually the tournament, how exactly does playing nearly every game at home accomplish that goal?  The traditional argument is that there is nothing to gain from playing on the road since the best case scenario is winning a game most people think you should win anyway, and the worst case scenario is losing and having it held against you later.

I would argue just the opposite.

First off, the only way to even come close to preparing a team to play in front of a hostile crowd is to actually do it.  Too often teams panic at the first sign of adversity on the road and things snowball, turning a 4-0 run into a 12-0 run before you know it.  Even if Hollis Thompson had missed his last-second shot against Alabama, are you telling me the experience gained in that game wouldn’t serve them well later in the season?  I’m quite certain they will recognize more future benefit from that game than they did by blowing out NJIT by 40 at home.

In addition, every year we watch teams get skewered by the selection committee for not challenging themselves in the non-conference, and if the current schedules are any indication, that message isn’t getting through.  You obviously don’t want to schedule five road games and lose them all, but I would also argue that if you do that, you probably aren’t a great team to begin with.

I understand we are dealing with the delicate psyches of 19- and 20-year old kids here, and the balance between building confidence and challenging the team is a delicate one.  Still, the scale seems to have tipped too far in the other direction, and as a result, we have little idea how some of these teams might react to tough situations as conference play opens up over the next couple weeks.

What might be even more frightening is that a number of coaches are in the same boat and don’t know how their teams will fare once they hit the road for some of their most important games of the season.  The difference is they could have actually done something about it.


Follow me on Twitter (@andybottoms) for more thoughts on college hoops, and check out the latest edition of the Bottoms Line podcast.

About Andy Bottoms

While Andy was born and raised in Indiana, he would like to point out that he grew up shooting hoops in his driveway and not against the side of a barn like you see in all the March Madness promos or in the middle of a field like Jimmy Chitwood. Andy ranks among the top bracketologists according to the Bracket Matrix and has provided his projections to Fox Sports for the past three seasons. When not compiling excuses for missing work during the NCAA Tournament, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is a proud IU graduate and co-hosts The Assembly Call postgame show following every IU game. Twitter: @AndyBottoms


  1. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying this info So i’m happy to convey that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I so much without a doubt will make sure to do not put out of your mind this site and provides it a look regularly.

  2. Yes! Finally someone writes about domiciliary care agency.

  3. Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues.

    It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  4. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  5. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  6. Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to make a really good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

  7. Sterling silver diamond jewelry epitomizes typical convenience itself, but because this setting meant for rocks as well as blended with some other silver and gold coins, typically the conceptual valuation it again provides towards individual wearing it is without a doubt inestimable. Clean silver antique alone is simply too light together with might not be easy for jewellery in addition to other elaborate objects. Tiffany Gold is completed whenever yet another metallic, like copper mineral, can be tiffany jewellery outlet put onto the particular gold recover durable and hard. Which means that absolutely no considerably less robust while stainless-steel,gold fine jewelry is usually nonetheless highly long lasting and long-lasting. This is the reason a good amount of rings, pendants, bracelets, cuff links, belt buckles, physical structure fine jewelry and a lot more aremade by sterling silver.

  8. Awsome article and right to the point. I don’t know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thx

  9. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good site!

  10. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog? My blog is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thank you!

  11. This is a sensible blog. I indicate it. You have so a lot knowledge about this concern, and so significantly enthusiasm. You also know how to make folks rally behind it, of course from the responses. Youve acquired a style here thats not also flashy, but makes a statement as major as what youre stating. Wonderful career, without a doubt.

  12. Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.

  13. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a great website.

  14. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance. I must say you have done a superb job with this. Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Opera. Excellent Blog!

  15. Hello I am so glad I found your blog, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Digg for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over
    it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and
    also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please
    do keep up the fantastic job.

  16. What’s up mates, pleasant paragraph and good arguments commented at this
    place, I am truly enjoying by these.

  17. you are in point of fact a excellent webmaster. The website loading velocity is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a fantastic task on this matter!

  18. This post gives clear idea in favor of the new people of blogging, that truly how to do blogging and site-building.

  19. I am actually delighted to read this weblog posts which includes plenty of helpful facts, thanks for providing these kinds of information.

  20. Congressional Records prove that only 10% of all adverse events get reported. Itching is caused by the overlapping tissues formed by the scar itself. The VAERS data has lead to the addition of 17 adverse events to the manufacturer’s product label since the vaccine was licensed for use in 1995, including secondary bacterial infections (cellulitis), secondary transmission (infection of close contacts), transverse myelitis, Guillain Barre syndrome and herpes zoster (shingles).

  21. Wow! After all I got a web site from where I know how to genuinely
    take useful information concerning my study and knowledge.

  22. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be
    thankful to you.

  23. This is a topic that is near to my heart… Many thanks!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?

  24. Your base model number may also often be a diesel possibly petrol model, and each have unlike premium schemes. The ancient ship and cruise ship models from ancient Greece, Egypt, and / or Phoenicia have been discovered throughout the mediterranean.

  25. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own web site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  26. Its not my first time to go to see this website, i am browsing
    this website dailly and obtain good data from here
    all the time.

  27. I cling on to listening to the news broadcast speak about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

  28. That is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one.

  29. It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from
    this paragraph as well as from our argument made at this time.

  30. Thanks for any other wonderful post. Where else may
    anyone get that type of info in such an ideal approach of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such

  31. It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I am
    glad that you just shared this helpful info with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly loved surfing around
    your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing in your feed and I
    am hoping you write again soon!

  33. I visit every day a few blogs and websites to read articles,
    however this blog gives quality based posts.

  34. First off I would like to say superb blog!
    I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior
    to writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my mind in getting
    my thoughts out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing
    however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
    are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?

  35. Hello to every one, as I am in fact keen of reading
    this webpage’s post to be updated daily. It contains pleasant information.

  36. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just
    your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything.

    Nevertheless imagine if you added some great pictures or videos to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent
    but with pics and clips, this site could definitely be one of the most beneficial in its niche.
    Amazing blog!

  37. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about audio book phenomenon. Regards

  38. It’s impressive that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from our discussion made here.

  39. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout
    of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content
    so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  40. I have read so many posts on the topic of the blogger lovers however this post
    is genuinely a fastidious article, keep it up.

  41. hello there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise some technical points using this site, since I experienced to reload the website many times previous to I could get it to load properly.

    I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m
    complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your
    placement in google and can damage your quality score if ads and marketing
    with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much
    more of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you update this again soon.

  42. Howdy I am so delighted I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would
    just like to say thank you for a tremendous post and a all round
    interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the
    moment but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I
    have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic

  43. I do accept as true with all the ideas you have introduced in your post.
    They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very quick for starters.
    Could you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  44. Yes! Finally someone writes about soccer related.

  45. Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues.
    It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful.

    Many thanks for sharing!

  46. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am
    quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  47. whoah this weblog is wonderful i like reading your articles.
    Stay up the great work! You realize, many persons are searching round for this information,
    you could help them greatly.

  48. If you are going for best contents like I do, simply go
    to see this web page all the time since it offers feature contents, thanks

  49. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web
    site is excellent, let alone the content!

  50. Can I just say what a relief to uncover an individual who genuinely knows what they’re talking about on the net.
    You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More people need to check this out and understand this side of
    your story. I was surprised that you are not more popular since you certainly have the gift.

  51. My spouse and I stumbled over here different web page and thought
    I may as well check things out. I like what I see so
    now i’m following you. Look forward to going over
    your web page repeatedly.

  52. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert
    that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.

    Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you
    access consistently fast.

  53. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was entirely right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time
    I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  54. Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be
    okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward
    to new posts.

  55. If you want to increase your experience only keep visiting this
    web page and be updated with the most recent gossip posted here.

  56. I do believe all the ideas you’ve presented on your post.
    They’re very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for newbies.
    Could you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  57. Hello Dear, are you actually visiting this web page daily,
    if so afterward you will definitely get pleasant know-how.

  58. Keep on working, great job!

  59. Can I just say what a relief to find someone that truly
    understands what they are talking about online. You actually realize how
    to bring a problem to light and make it important.

    A lot more people have to read this and understand this side
    of the story. I was surprised that you’re not more popular because you certainly have the gift.

  60. That is very interesting, You are an overly
    professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and sit up for
    in the hunt for extra of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

  61. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this
    outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this site
    with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  62. First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a
    quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind
    prior to writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10
    to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?

  63. You’re so cool! I do not think I have read through a single thing like that before.
    So good to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this subject matter.

    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that
    is needed on the internet, someone with
    a little originality!

  64. It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people for this subject, however, you seem
    like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  65. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t
    appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyways, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  66. Ahaa, its good dialogue concerning this post at this place at this blog,
    I have read all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

  67. I think this is among the most significant info
    for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general
    things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great :
    D. Good job, cheers

  68. You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I
    find this matter to be actually one thing which I feel I would by no means understand.
    It kind of feels too complicated and very vast for
    me. I am taking a look ahead for your next put up,
    I will try to get the hang of it!

  69. Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article. I wanted to write a little comment to
    support you.

  70. I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!

  71. Hi, yes this piece of writing is truly nice and I have learned lot
    of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  72. A person essentially lend a hand to make severely
    posts I might state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and
    to this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular
    post amazing. Fantastic job!

  73. I’m really inspired with your writing abilities as well as with the format to your weblog.

    Is this a paid subject or did you modify it
    your self? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a great
    blog like this one nowadays..

  74. I constantly spent my half an hour to read this
    website’s content all the time along with a cup of coffee.

  75. Helpful information. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I am stunned
    why this coincidence did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

  76. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I’ve read this publish and if I could I desire to recommend
    you some attention-grabbing things or tips.
    Perhaps you can write subsequent articles relating to this article.
    I desire to learn even more things about it!

  77. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard good things about Is there a way I
    can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  78. Wonderful work! That is the type of info that should be shared
    across the net. Shame on Google for now not positioning this post higher!
    Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  79. When someone writes an post he/she maintains the thought of a user in his/her
    mind that how a user can know it. Thus that’s why this piece of writing is great.


  80. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing issues with your blog.

    It seems like some of the written text within your content
    are running off the screen. Can somebody else
    please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them
    as well? This might be a issue with my browser because I’ve
    had this happen before. Thanks

  81. Post writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with afterward you
    can write if not it is complex to write.

  82. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on business success secrets.


  83. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very helpful information specifically the final part
    :) I care for such information much. I was seeking this certain information for a very
    lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.

  84. Amazing issues here. I’m very happy to peer your article.
    Thank you so much and I am taking a look ahead
    to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  85. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come
    here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Superb work!

  86. After looking at a number of the articles on your web site, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog.
    I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Take a look at my web site too and let me know what you think.

  87. Great post.

  88. Excellent web site you have here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours nowadays.

    I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  89. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up
    and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both
    show the same outcome.

  90. It’s enormous that you are getting thoughts from this post as
    well as from our dialogue made at this time.

  91. Very good article. I am experiencing many
    of these issues as well..

  92. You’ve made some good points there. I looked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

  93. Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different
    subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

  94. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it ;) I may
    revisit yet again since i have book marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  95. I absolutely love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own personal site and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is
    named. Kudos!

  96. That is really interesting, You’re an excessively professional
    blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to in search of more
    of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your
    site in my social networks

  97. Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog
    platform are you using for this website? I’m getting fed
    up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at
    options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point
    me in the direction of a good platform.

Speak Your Mind