How much will hosting help Blue Hens?

By Sean Greene 12:05am, March 21, 2013
VIDEO: Blue Hens' thoughts on playing in Newark (PICTURE: Blue Hens and fans react on Selection Monday)
It's one quirk to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament which doesn't truly exist in the Men's version: True home games.

The University of Delaware will get to enjoy that luxury however when they host No. 11 West Virginia Sunday at 12:15 at the Bob Carpenter Center.

But how much of an advantage is it truly for Delaware?

While every situation is different, 11 of the 16 sub-regionals in the 2012 tournament included a home team, including Delaware having to face UALR on their home court despite the Blue Hens being a 3 seed. Delaware took care of business 73-42 to win their first ever NCAA Tournament crowd despite playing in front of a somewhat hostile crowd (there was plenty of Blue and Gold to be found in the stands to be honest).

UALR was one of just two hosts to lose in that opening round, with the other being fellow double-digit seed Iowa State who lost to Wisconsin-Green Bay in a 10 vs. 7 matchup. One double digit seed, Gonzaga, used their court as a 11 seed to upset No. 6 Rutgers.

The numbers get a little bleaker if Delaware makes it to a second round matchup with No. 3 North Carolina, assuming both teams win, which is hardly a given. The only team with the same No. 6 seed that Delaware has this year was Oklahoma, which lost to No. 3 St. John's.

No. 5 LSU lost to No. 4 Penn State, while 7 seeds DePaul and Vanderbilt lost to No. 2 Tennessee and Duke respectively. The only home team to upset their way to the Sweet 16? Gonzaga, who actually pulled the same trick off in 2011 (and will get another chance to do it this year).

The perks of playing at home are simple, you don't have to worry about travel, time changes, logistics, an unusual court, or fans rooting against you.

Will it be enough to help push Delaware through a difficult Newark pod? Time will tell, but they will certainly have to win it on the court.

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