Last Updated: 2018-01-03
After looking at the American Atlantic Conference and ACC in our last two articles, we’re about to do the equivalent of conference slumming, as we look at the Atlantic Sun Conference, which is one of the worst conferences in the country, with really only two teams who can be described as not being terrible.
At the start of the season, the ASC looked to be a two-team race between Florida Gulf Coast and Lipscomb and nothing has changed in that department, with the possible exception being that the two-team race is a little closer than some expected, as the Eagles get a one-point advantage in the updated power ratings.
Atlantic Sun Conference Power Ratings
Florida Gulf Coast 76
New Jersey Tech 69
North Florida 64
South Carolina Upstate 61
Memories can die hard and this year’s version of Florida Gulf Coast isn’t the high-flying team bettors remember from their run to the Sweet 16 a few years back. That much is evidenced the team’s 0-5 record in totals, although I do give the Eagles a bit of credit for being 3-2 against the spread, as FGC is a team you would expect to be a little over-valued, as they’re a squad most bettors are familiar with, which is also why they’ve had five games on the regular college basketball betting board.
Lipscomb is a team you would think was underrated a little bit, but the Bisons have gone 1-2 against the spread in their lined games and only one of those games had a total.
The most interesting team could well be North Florida, who is 0-3 against the spread, and just 5-11 straight-up, but have played an absolutely brutal schedule. Try games at Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Florida, Missouri, LSU and Mississippi State. The Ospreys haven’t beaten any of the big name teams they’ve played, or even come necessarily close, their conference foes should look a whole lot easier after the teams they’ve faced.
While Jacksonville is firmly entrenched as the worst team in the conference, the Dolphins have gone 3-1 against the number in their lined games, which surprisingly includes a game against Gardner-Webb, while games against Georgetown and NC State were off the board.
Collectively, the conference is 0-21 against top 50 teams, so it doesn’t appear we’re going to be seeing more than one game in the NCAA tournament for whichever team represents the ASC and likely a smaller tournament berth for either Florida Gulf Coast or Lipscomb, whichever isn’t in the Big Dance.
-END OF JANUARY 3 UPDATE-
We’ll continue to knock out a few of the smaller conferences before we get to a few of the big boys, which will be coming out next. The smaller conferences do have their advantages, as there are very few people who are going to spend a lot of time looking at the Atlantic Sun Conference, which received a pretty big boost in popularity when Florida Gulf Coast advanced to the Sweet 16 several years back.
It’s probably no surprise that Florida Gulf Coast has the highest power rating to start the season, with Lipscomb within striking distance in second place and then a relatively large gap to the other schools in the conference.
Atlantic Sun Conference Opening Power Ratings
Florida Gulf Coast 78
North Florida 67
USC Upstate 65
NJIT (New Jersey Tech) 65
Kennesaw State 64
While most smaller conferences have had some good-sized differences between the highest and lowest power ratings for certain teams, the Atlantic Sun gives us a couple of huge difference, with several in the 15-point range, such as Jacksonville or New Jersey Tech.
Florida Gulf Coast is a bit more consistent in the ratings they received, as there is a six-point difference from highest to lowest, while Lipscomb has less than a four-point difference in their ratings. But once we get to a few of the lower-rated teams, there is a lot more disagreement with at least one set of numbers, with four of the remaining six teams having differences of at least 10 points.
As we mentioned in our article on the Big Sky Conference, home court advantage is typically thought of as 4 points, although in actuality it can vary a great deal. Poor teams playing at home in front of a half-full gym don’t have the same advantage as a good team playing in front a packed house of crazy college students.
I won’t go higher than 6 points for home court advantage, nor any lower than 2 points, so it may not be worth the extra time to calculate a separate home court advantage for each team. But if you do so, simply take the home scoring margin and subtract the road scoring margin and divide by two.
If Team A has a +5.3 scoring margin at home and a -4.6 scoring margin on the road, you would take 5.3 and subtract (-4.6), which becomes 9.8. When you divide 9.8 by 2 you get 4.9 or five points home court advantage. (Remember when you subtract a negative number, you’re basically just adding.)
If Team A had a +5.3 at home and a -8.5 on the road, you would get 5.3 – (-8.5) = 13.8, which becomes 6.9 when divided by 2. But since 6 points should be the maximum home court advantage, you would hold it at 6.
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