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Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | May 23, 2018

Home-field advantage is critical for postseason success

The College World Series is near

How much does having home-field advantage in college baseball – which means everything from sleeping in your own bed, to having a familiar commute to the ballpark, to playing in front of your home fans – actually matter when it comes to advancing in the postseason?

That's a question many fans will ponder after the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee announces on Monday, May 28, the 64 teams that qualify for the 2018 NCAA DI baseball tournament. Sixteen teams will host a four-team, double-elimination Regional, including the eight national seeds that will earn home-field advantage all the way to the College World Series, as long as they continue to win.

Hosting a Regional or Super Regional gives a college baseball team almost a 70 percent chance of advancing, so to answer the question posed above, home-field advantage does matter quite a lot.

ALL-TIME STARTING NINES: Arizona | Florida State | LSU | Miami | Texas

We analyzed the last 10 years of the NCAA DI baseball tournament and laid out our key findings below in a breakdown of how having home-field advantage benefits teams in the postseason.

Here are some immediate takeaways:

  • 37.0 percent of teams that hosted a Regional advanced to the College World Series (57 of 154 teams)
  • For perspective, that means on average the 16 teams that host a Regional annually earn roughly six of the eight CWS spots, while the other 48 teams claim just two spots
  • 48.1 percent of teams that hosted a Regional went 3-0 in that round to advance to the Super Regional (74 of 154 teams)
  • Only 3.2 percent of teams that hosted a Regional were eliminated from the NCAA tournament without winning a game (5 of 154 teams)
  • That means teams that hosted a Regional were 16 times more likely to not lose a game in the round as they were to not win a game in that round

 

Note: We defined "home-field advantage" for the Regional round as a No. 1 seed that hosted a Regional in its home ballpark. We defined "home-field advantage" in the Super Regional round as a team that hosted the round at its home ballpark.

Some exceptions that we didn't count (with the host city in parentheses) include Arizona in 2008 (Ann Arbor, Mich.), North Carolina in 2008 (Cary, N.C.), Florida State in 2010 (Norwich, Conn.), Coastal Carolina in 2010 (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), Purdue in 2012 (Gary, Ind.), and UC Santa Barbara in 2015 (Lake Elsinore, Calif.). Exceptions for the Super Regional round include North Carolina in 2008, Coastal Carolina in 2010, and California in 2011.

Regional round

  • 68.8 percent of teams hosting a Regional advanced to the Super Regional round (106 of 154 teams)
  • Teams that hosted a Regional won 76.6 percent of their games (419-128) in the Regional round

 

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Super Regional round

  • 66.2 percent of teams hosting a Super Regional advanced to the College World Series (51 of 77 teams)
  • 37.7 percent of teams hosting a Super Regional swept the round, winning two straight games (29 of 77 teams)
  • Teams that hosted a Super Regional won 60.6 percent of their games (114-74) in that round
  • Just 18.2 percent of teams hosting a Super Regional were swept in the round, losing two straight games (14 of 77 teams)

 

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Home-field advantage throughout the postseason

  • 65.2 percent of teams that had home-field advantage in both the Regional and Super Regional rounds advanced to the College World Series (45 of 69 teams)
  • 34.8 percent of teams that had home-field advantage in the Regional and Super Regional rounds swept both rounds (five total games) to reach the CWS (24 of 69 teams)
  • Teams that hosted both a Regional and a Super Regional won 78.9 percent of their games (318-85) in those two rounds

 

Past champions

Eight of the last 10 national champions hosted at least one round in the NCAA tournament and five hosted both a Regional and Super Regional before winning the title. Fresno State in 2008 and Coastal Carolina in 2016 are the exceptions in the last decade that were able to reach Omaha and win the College World Series without the benefit of home-field advantage.

2017: Florida

  • NCAA tournament record: 10-3
  • Regional host? Yes
  • Super Regional host? Yes

 

2016: Coastal Carolina

  • NCAA tournament record: 11-3
  • Regional host? No
  • Super Regional host? No

 

2015: Virginia

  • NCAA tournament record: 10-2
  • Regional host? No
  • Super Regional host? Yes

 

2014: Vanderbilt

  • NCAA tournament record: 10-3
  • Regional host? Yes
  • Super Regional host? Yes

 

2013: UCLA

  • NCAA tournament record: 10-0
  • Regional host? Yes
  • Super Regional host? No

 

2012: Arizona

  • NCAA tournament record: 10-0
  • Regional host? Yes
  • Super Regional host? Yes

 

2011: South Carolina

  • NCAA tournament record: 10-0
  • Regional host? Yes
  • Super Regional host? Yes

 

2010: South Carolina

  • NCAA tournament record: 11-1
  • Regional host? Yes
  • Super Regional host? No

 

2009: LSU

  • NCAA tournament record: 10-1
  • Regional host? Yes
  • Super Regional host? Yes

 

2008: Fresno State

  • NCAA tournament record: 10-4
  • Regional host? No
  • Super Regional host? No

 

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Division I
College World Series
June 13-23/24, 2020
TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, NE

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