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Max Skinner, Special to theACC.com
Home-site advantage is an inevitable truth in sports. College basketball, in particular, seemingly provides the best platform for home court advantage: raucous crowds cheering for the mere pride of their respective institution.
Despite the fact that home court advantage has become an accepted truth in society, people in college hoops have trouble mentally accounting for the effect of the home court when evaluating teams.
The truth is, no one has created a legitimate theory or formula that accounts for the effects of home court advantage. Don’t worry, that’s what Principal Skinner is here for.
After analyzing each ACC team's home record, home record against ranked teams, and home record against top 10 teams (all in the last 10 years), here are the top 5 hardest places to play in the ACC:
1. Cameron Indoor Stadium - Duke
Let's face it, Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium is one of the hardest places to play in the entire world. The intimate setting of Cameron combined with the intellect of extremely passionate fans has created one of the most fearsome and entertaining venues in sports.
The fact that Duke has only lost 11 times at home in the last decade is saying something. Not to mention, UNC accounted for 5 of those losses. Either way, Cameron Indoor Stadium continues to be the hardest place to play on the road in the ACC.
2. Edmund P. Joyce Center - Notre Dame
Notre Dame's Edmund P. Joyce Center has quietly become one of the hardest venues to play on the road in college basketball. In the last decade, Notre Dame's record against ranked teams at home, particularly top 10 teams, is outstanding.
This is nothing new to the Fighting Irish; Notre Dame has a rich tradition of exposing very good teams at the Joyce Center. For example, the Irish ended UCLA's NCAA record 88-game winning streak in 1974. For its historical and modern success, the Joyce Center is the second hardest place to play in the ACC.
3. Peterson Events Center - Pittsburgh
That's right ACC fans, Pittsburgh's Peterson Events Center is the third hardest stadium to play in the ACC. "The Pete" is a place where top 10 teams go to die. Just look at Pittsburgh's record vs top 10 teams in the last decade.
Pittsburgh's student section, the "Oakland Zoo," is notorious for its creativity and noise. The Peterson Events Center has been nationally recognized as one of the hardest places to play. For good reason.
4. Dean E. Smith Center - North Carolina
North Carolina's Dean E. Smith Center is traditionally one of the most historic stadiums in college basketball. The house that Dean built is one of the loudest stadiums in the nation. Although success has dipped a little in recent years, UNC continues to win at a very progressive rate at home.
You can just feel the history and tradition oozing from the hardwood floor to the rafters above. That's why the Dean Smith Center is currently the fourth most difficult place in the ACC to play on the road.
5a. Carrier Dome - Syracuse
Syracuse's Carrier Dome, aka "The Loud House," is the largest domed stadium on any college campus. Not to mention the Carrier Dome owns the NCAA attendance record of 35,446 people.
We get it, the Carrier Dome is BIG. Not only is the building large, so is Syracuse's success over the years. Syracuse has won more games at home over the last decade than any other ACC school.
The Orange have been prolific at home. Can't leave them off this list.
5b. KFC Yum! Center - Louisville
That's right folks, we've got a tie for 5th place! Louisville's success at home over the last decade is too impressive to snub.
The Cardinals home record is eerily similar to Syracuse. Both teams have also played the same amount of games against ranked teams, including top 10 teams.
The KFC Yum! Center is relatively new. However, Louisville has found consistent success at home over the last ten years. The only blip on the Cardinals' resume is their losing record against top 10 teams at home.
6. John Paul Jones Arena - Virginia
• 123 - 36 (.774) since 2006
• 14-12 vs ranked opponents
7. PNC Arena - N.C. State
• 129 - 49 (.725) since 2005
• 8-21 vs ranked opponents