Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Is Georgia Tech Basketball Being Slighted By ACC Referees?

This is not another "we got screwed by the refs" post.  Teams with losing records tend to have a negative foul margin.  This is not a post about Georgia Tech's -3.2 foul margin in ACC games.

This is a detailed look at how referees in ACC games are calling fouls against Georgia Tech and their opponents comparing to the season averages of each.

I looked at all 11 ACC opponents for GT across all 18 games, the ACC season averages for fouls called for and against each ACC opponent, and then compared those season averages to when ACC teams faced Georgia Tech.   Please see the linked spreadsheet here for details.  

I think Brian Gregory has a gripe to the ACC in how the opposition is officiated against his team.

1. Georgia Tech ranked 5th in fouls called on them in ACC games at 17.6 per game.

GT had three games where they were called for 23+ fouls (vWF, @UNC, @UVA) or one standard deviation above their season average (see column D); GT went 1-2 in these games.   The Yellow Jackets had five games where they were called for 14 or less fouls or one standard deviation below their season average (see column E); GT went 1-4 in these games. 

Therefore, in games where the fouls called against Ga. Tech were one standard deviation above or below Tech's season average they went 2-6. 

2.  When ACC teams played the Yellow Jackets they were able to draw 0.8 fouls more per game than their normal season average (column J in spreadsheet). 

For example, when Tech played at home against NC State on March 3rd, the Jackets were whistled for 23 fouls which is 5 fouls per game more than the Wolfpack typically draw against their opponents (column I - 17.9).  Georgia Tech had 3 games where they were whistled for 5+ more fouls than their opponents normally draw (vNCSU, @UNC, vWF)

At this point we can say the number of fouls called against Georgia Tech is about on par, albeit slightly higher, with the Jackets season average and has little effect on winner or loser of the game considering the 2-6 record.

3.  The biggest complaint Gregory should have is how many fouls his opponents are called for. In 18 ACC games, GT opponents were called for 2.1 fouls less per game than their normal season average (column H). 

The numbers got especially bad in the last 5 ACC games - @UVA, vMD, vNCSU, @MIA, @BC.  In those five games, Georgia Tech opponents were whistled for a total of 21 fouls less than their season average or 4.1 less per game.

If you take out the Maryland game, the per game average is 5.5 fouls less than the opponents normally foul. 

Playing on the road was especially tough for Ga. Tech to draw fouls.

In its nine ACC road games, GT opponents were whistled for more than 3.8 fouls less than their season average. Last Saturday at Boston College the Eagles were called for just 8 fouls all game, more than 7 fouls less than their season average. Tech lost the game by 2 points.

When you add the 0.8 fouls per game more than their season average called on Georgia Tech to the 2.1 fouls less per game than the season average GT opponents are called for then you essentially have a 3 foul difference than the season average swing in favor of the the Yellow Jacket's opponents (column L).

Based on this it would certainly appear referees are not giving Georgia Tech the same calls as they do other ACC teams. You can add this foul discrepancy to the 2013 football schedule as B1G fodder now.

Georgia Tech Game by Game Foul Chart with Opponent ACC Averages

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