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Ah, man! There isn’t a finals week/Christmas letdown?


Mike Miller

Nuts. Gonna need a new cliché for this time of year.

Just last week I chalked up Kansas’ loss to Davidson as a familiar sight because “teams have long layoffs” from finals, holidays, etc. Others did the same when Pitt lost to Wagner, Louisville struggled against Western Kentucky and when Michigan did the same against Bradley.

It’s basically a time honored tradition. And then John Ezekowitz dumped on it.

His HSAC post on “exams and Christmas Letdown Myth” used his database of 35,000 college hoops betting lines and results from 1996-2011, set a timeframe to examine games and ripped off three grafs to make his conclusion that there is no Christmas letdown.

Here’s his summary:

While this analysis focused on the home teams, it also tells us about the converse: road performance over the period in question. The teams that travel to play BCS opponents over Christmas do not do significantly better than their counterparts over the rest of the non-conference. This lack of significance extends across the country: including non-BCS home games over the break does not change the finding.

Thanks a lot, John. Now I need a new cliché to trot out when I can’t explain some random loss around finals time.

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