Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NCAA | Does Nebraska have home court advantage?

Huskers playing in their own state, but not their own gym
Washington vs. Nebraska @ Omaha | December 7 | 4PM | ESPN3

[12.06.12: CLARIFICATION: Nebraska's Bob Devany Center is being renovated to accommodate the volleyball program. The NU Coliseum will no longer be used for home matches.] 

The Nebraska Cornhuskers couldn’t play in their own gym this weekend if they wanted to. 

The historic NU Coliseum is undergoing renovation, preparing to become what coach John Cook calls a state-of-the-art facility.

Washington won't have its Dawg Pound in Omaha
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
Instead, the Huskers will join Washington, Oregon and BYU Friday afternoon about an hour up the road from Nebraska’s Lincoln campus for the NCAA Sweet 16 Omaha Regional in Century Link Arena.

The Arena hold 17,000; organizers expect a crowd in excess of 10,000, most of them wearing Nebraska red.

“We’ll have a lot of Husker fans,” says Cook.

“It’s a home game, but it’s not,” says Washington coach Jim McLaughlin. “The crowd will be good. That will be an advantage for them. The biggest thing is, they don’t have to get on a plane and travel. They get that extra day of practice.”

But, says, McLaughlin, there’s no getting around the fact that Nebraska’s players aren’t as familiar with Century Link as they are their own gym.

“It’s not the arena that they train in,” he says, “and it’s not the arena they play in.

“It’s state-dependent remembering. Home court advantages come from conditions that are very consistent.”

And what are those conditions? Lighting. Temperature. The way the ball bounces. The distance from the crowd. The locker rooms.

“It won’t be completely normal,” says McLaughlin.

For the most part, Cook agrees. His is the only regional that is not being played on a college campus.

“I’ve complained about it,” Cook admits. “The question is: Texas hosts the regional in their home gym. Purdue is on their campus. We’re driving an hour away in a big arena to host it. This is one of the things I’ve talked to my administration about.”

In fact, Cook hopes this is one of the last times his team will play a postseason match in Omaha.

“It would be nice to be on our own campus. That’s what we’ll go for in the future. Every time we host a Final Four or a Regional, it’s been in Omaha. So, we’ve had to go up there quite a bit.

“It’s a home match in that we’ll have a big crowd there that will support us. But, still, we’re not on campus.”

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  1. I'm a Husky in Omaha and will get tickets for Friday. Is there a Washington section? or will we be scattered around?

    1. It looks like most seats are reserved.

      We suggest you look for folks wearing purple and try to swap seats with folks wearing red around them ... from our experience, Nebraska fans are pretty gracious ...

  2. I am a Husker fan who is looking forward to watching four great teams play volleyball in Omaha this weekend.
    Just a note to let the writer know that they are renovating the Bob Devaney Sports Center, not the Colisuem for volleyball next year. The new home for Husker volleyball will seat around 7,000 people instead of the 4,000 that the Coliseum could hold. Best of luck to all of the teams in Omaha this weekend and Go Big Red!!

    1. Thanks for the Devany Center clarification; now noted in story.

  3. As a Husky fan NOT going to Omaha, is the only option No UWTV?

  4. Yes, ESPN3 is the only option unless you can find a pirate stream somewhere. To get ESPN3, you must be on a college campus, a military base, or have cable TV or internet from one of a number of providers (including Comcast). A list of cable providers is available at URL

  5. Is anyone organizing a viewing event at a pub/bar/other location? If so please email me at Thank you!


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