While watching the NCSU vs VT game I noticed there was a lack of flow to the game because of the constant whistles and foul calls. I have been watching a lot of non-ACC games (because ACC basketball is so ugly) and have noticed officials in those games seem to let them play and only call fouls when a distinct advantage is gained. This apparent discrepancy made me wonder if this is driven by the Atlantic Coast Cabal (acknowledgement to wolfpup76 for this rather clever moniker) or just pure chance.
The only way I could determine if there are differences between conferences was to look at officials that ref games in several leagues. So I looked at the top 30 officials (by number of games) and compared the ACC to the Big Ten, SEC and Big East to see if a ref changes the way he calls the game based on which conference he is in.
Here is a chart of what I found:
The far right column is the average Fouls Per Game (FPG) of the entire sample population or at least as close as I could come to it. What this shows is the ACC has more fouls called per game than the other three conferences. I could not determine a way to look at other calls (such as travel) so this is an inexact comparison but it does show there is a difference in how the game is called in the ACC.
This shows even more of a spread. But what does this mean? Is it even important? In my opinion this is a contributor to the decline in ACC attendance”. It slows the game, more players are in foul trouble and the referees have a bigger impact on the game. I do not know if the ACC directs the refs calling ACC games to call it closer or if it based on the play in the league but there is definitely a difference.