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Colorado men’s basketball: Examining the Buffs’ home vs. away numbers

In college basketball, home-court advantage is undeniably real. For the Colorado men’s team, it has been the story of the Buffs’ 2023-24 season.

At 12-5, all five of their losses have come away from Boulder, including a recent three-game Pac-12 road skid. While the Buffs’ road slate has featured tougher opponents such as No. 13 Arizona and Colorado State, the difference between their performance at home versus away is overwhelming.

At the CU Events Center, the black and gold is 10-0 with an average winning margin of 18.9 points per game. The Buffs pass the ball much better at 19.6 assists per game, all while shooting at a higher percentage from the field (52.8%) and 3-point range (43.7%). In addition, the defense improves as CU’s home opponents shoot 7.3% worse from the field and dish out 3.3 fewer assists than its away opponents.

While the 10 teams the Buffs have played at home are a combined 86-83 this year with seven of those opponents being from non-Power 6 conferences, two of CU’s best performances this entire season came against 10-7 Washington and 12-5 Washington State. The then-shorthanded Buffaloes beat both teams to start Pac-12 play.

On the road, however, the Buffs are 2-5. They turn the ball over 13.7 times per game, only average 13.2 assists, and shoot significantly worse from the field (43.6%) and the perimeter (29%). Their defense also weakens, as their opponents’ points per game jump to 77.4. In seven games on the road to 10 at home, away opponents have only dished out four fewer total assists than home opponents.

Colorado’s best win of the season, a victory over then-No. 15 Miami, was a neutral-site game in Brooklyn. In true road games, Colorado lost by 47 to then-No. 10 Arizona and blew a 20-point lead to Cal.

Then again, the Buffs’ road/neutral-site opponents are a combined 76-44 on the year, as five of the seven teams are from the Pac-12 or ACC.

With the differing strengths of home and away opponents, saying Colorado can’t win on the road isn’t completely fair. But with six Pac-12 games now in the books, the Buffs must correct their road woes soon.

The Buffs’ next game is on Thursday with the 13-3 Oregon Ducks coming to the CUEC. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. MT on FS1.

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire