One hundred and seventy five of the 353 Division I men’s basketball programs won their most recent home game, and on average, DI programs enter the 2019-20 season with an active home winning steak of 1.95 games. One school hasn’t lost at home since 2017 and several others haven’t lost on their home floor since early in the 2018 calendar.
Somewhat surprisingly, the 15 schools with the longest active home winning streaks entering this season play in 15 different conferences.
Here’s a look at which programs will start the season with the longest active home winning streaks.
T-1st. Buffalo – 26 wins
Last loss: December 2, 2017 vs. St. Bonaventure 73-62
New Buffalo Coach Jim Whitesell inherits a program that has advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two years, winning a combined 59 games — 26 of which came at home. Unfortunately for the Bulls and Whitesell, Buffalo lost seniors Nick Perkins, Jeremy Harris and CJ Massinburg to graduation, but kenpom.com currently projects Buffalo to have at least a 69 percent chance of victory in all of their home games this season.
Ironically, St. Bonaventure could be the most likely candidate to end Buffalo’s streak — kenpom.com gives the Bonnies a 29 percent chance of victory on Dec. 30, which is one of the higher percentages for opponents that have to travel to Buffalo this season.
T-1st. Tennessee – 26 wins
Last loss: January 2, 2018 vs. Auburn 94-84
Similarly to Buffalo, the primary contributors who were responsible for Tennessee’s long home winning streak have moved on: Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield and Jordan Bone. However unlike the Bulls, the Volunteers do return their head coach after Rick Barnes and Tennessee agreed to a new contract in the offseason after UCLA pursued Barnes. Tennessee will be built around senior guards Jordan Bowden and Lamonte Turner, while freshman Josiah-Jordan James (the No. 22 2019 recruit in the 247Sports Composite rankings) provides the Vols with a blue-chip prospect for at least one season in Knoxville.
Tennessee should be incredibly pleased if its home winning streak makes it past the first week of January with a trio of noteworthy home games against Memphis (Dec. 14), Wisconsin (Dec. 28) and LSU (Jan. 4) in a three-week stretch.
3rd. Gonzaga – 22 wins
Last loss: January 18, 2018 vs. Saint Mary’s 74-71
Given the level that Mark Few has elevated Gonzaga to as a legitimate national championship contending program and one that’s capable of producing NBA lottery picks, you could probably blindly set the over/under of regular season conference losses for the ‘Zags at 0.5 or one for a given year. They’ve dominated the WCC in recent seasons, which means Gonzaga’s home winning streak could be approaching 40 wins this time next year.
Gonzaga’s All-American frontcourt of Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke moved on to the NBA, while point guard Josh Perkins and reserve guard Geno Crandall graduated, but a healthy Killian Tillie plus an expanded offensive role for Corey Kispert will keep Gonzaga nationally relevant in 2020.
4th. Kansas – 20 wins
Last loss: February 3, 2018 vs. Oklahoma State 84-79
It’s kind of remarkable that despite Kansas losing its Big 12 regular season title streak and going 26-10 last season, the wounded Jayhawks managed to go 16-0 at home. They’ll start the season ranked No. 3 in the AP Top 25 poll, which means that despite playing a competitive, round-robin Big 12 schedule, there’s a non-zero percent chance they win all their home games again this season.
Dedric Lawson bounced for the NBA after last season and guard Quentin Grimes transferred, but a hopefully healthy Udoka Azubuike is dominant down low, guard Devon Dotson has appeared on preseason All-American lists and sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji showed flashes of brilliance late in his freshman season once Bill Self lifted his redshirt. A Dec. 7 home game against Colorado is likely the first time Kansas’ home winning streak could be in jeopardy before Baylor comes to town on Jan. 11.
5th. Nevada – 18 wins
Last loss: February 7, 2018: vs. UNLV 86-78
Nevada might as well have been a turnstile in the offseason with cornerstone players Caleb and Cody Martin, and Jordan Caroline, exhausting their eligibility, as did fellow transfers Trey Porter, Tre’Shawn Thurman and Corey Henson. Meanwhile, former Nevada Coach Eric Musselman, who engineered the transfer-fueled rise of the Wolf Pack, was hired by Arkansas.
Now Nevada is coached by former UCLA Coach Steve Alford, and the Wolf Pack are ranked No. 98 in kenpom.com’s preseason rankings. Nevada’s home winning streak may not reach 19 with a season-opener at home against Utah. USC comes to Reno 11 days later.
6th. Purdue – 17 wins
Last loss: February 7, 2018 vs. Ohio State 64-63
The Boilermakers ran the table at home last season, which included wins over Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Belmont — all of whom finished the season ranked in the top 50 on kenpom.com.
Purdue is only a few bounces away from being No. 1 on this list. The Boilermakers’ last home loss was a one-point defeat against Ohio State and that was their only home loss during the 2017-18 season, which means their streak would be at 39 wins if they had beaten the Buckeyes. Their last home loss before that was on New Year’s Day in 2017, when they fell to Minnesota in overtime. Had they won that and beaten Ohio State in 2018, they’d have 47 straight home wins.
On Nov. 14, 2016, they lost to Villanova by three, so had Purdue won those three games that were either tied at the end of regulation or had Purdue trailing by one possession, the Boilermakers’ streak would be at 57. That’s a lot of ifs and buts, but it speaks to how strong of a home-court advantage Mackey Arena provides and Matt Painter’s ability to mold his team’s offense around different centerpieces (AJ Hammons, Caleb Swanigan, Carsen Edwards), then surround them with great shooting and what feels like a never-ending lineage of seven-footers.
T-7th. Prairie View A&M – 15 wins
Last loss: February 10, 2018 vs. Grambling State 90-85
Prairie View A&M is just three years removed from a 7-24 season, and the Panthers’ 2016 win total is now equal to their national ranking in terms of their home winning streak. They ran the table at home last season — a remarkable achievement after Prairie View lost 11 consecutive games on the road between Nov. 12 and Dec. 29.
One good part about Prairie View A&M playing almost its entire non-conference schedule away from home — at UCF, Texas, Cal, Arizona State, Colorado and Seton Hall — is that none of those opponents will play in the William Nicks Building, and the school’s winning streak might survive deep into the SWAC’s regular season.
T-7th. Wofford – 15 wins
Last loss: November 6, 2018 vs. North Carolina 78-67
Like some other teams on this list, Wofford will have to attempt to extend its home winning streak without the key pieces who are responsible for its existence. Fletcher Magee and Cameron Jackson have graduated, and Mike Young now coaches Virginia Tech, leaving Jay McAuley and lights-out 3-point shooters Nathan Hoover and Storm Murphy to defend Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
T-9th. Gardner-Webb – 14 wins
Last loss: February 15, 2018 vs. Winthrop 90-71
The Bulldogs won all of their home games last season, and they lost just twice at home during the 2017-18 season so perhaps Paul Porter Arena provides an underrated home-court advantage in the Big South. Two of Gardner-Webb’s three highest-usage players last season — David Efianayi and DJ Laster — graduated, and the Bulldogs host Furman to open the season, so their home winning streak may not reach 15 wins.
T-9th. New Mexico State – 14 wins
Last loss: November 14, 2018 vs. Saint Mary’s 73-58
Thanks to a top-35 offense and a team that ranked in the top seven nationally in both offensive rebounding percentage and defensive rebounding percentage, New Mexico State won all but one of its home games last season. Luckily for the Aggies’ home winning streak, the one loss came early in the year against Saint Mary’s.
A home game against rival New Mexico on Nov. 21 is the non-conference home game that they’re most likely to lose.
11th. Bucknell – 12 wins
Last loss: November 28, 2018 vs. Northeastern 96-78
Thanks in large part to Nate Sestina, who has since transferred to Kentucky, the Bison rattled off 12 consecutive home wins to close the 2018-19 season. Their home opener this fall is against Vermont, which means Bucknell’s home winning streak is certainly in danger of ending in the next two weeks.
T-12th. Villanova – 11 wins
Last loss: November 17, 2018 vs. Furman 76-68 (OT)
A rough non-conference showing left Villanova with four losses entering the New Year last season, including two home losses, but the Wildcats were able to win all of their home games in Big East play. They’re No. 10 in the AP Top 25 poll and No. 8 in kenpom.com’s preseason rankings thanks to the arrival of five-star recruits Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Bryan Antoine, so ‘Nova has the coaching, the talent and the projected efficiency margin to potentially return to the top tier of the sport.
Consecutive home games against preseason No. 3 Kansas and No. 19 Xavier will provide a strong litmus test of the Wildcats in December.
T-12th. VCU – 11 wins
Last loss: December 15, 2018 vs. Charleston 83-79
VCU claimed the last spot in the preseason AP Top 25 poll and kenpom.com projects the Rams to have the 14th-most efficient defense this season, so VCU’s home winning streak could have some staying power if they can beat LSU at home on Nov. 13.
14th. North Carolina A&T – 10 wins
Last loss: December 1, 2018 vs. Presbyterian 75-70
North Carolina A&T’s inclusion on this list may surprise you, considering they finished last season ranked No. 300 on kenpom.com, but the Aggies won all of their conference home games, including their last two by a combined 43 points.
15th. Wright State – 9 wins
Last loss: December 28, 2018 vs. Illinois Chicago 75-72 (OT)
How weird was Wright State’s Horizon League schedule last season? After opening up conference play with two games at home, the Raiders were on the road for their next five and later played five in a row at home, which may have allowed them to crack this list.
Wright State lost three regular starters to graduation, but kenpom.com currently projects the Raiders to be favored in all of their home games this season.
Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the DI programs and their current home winning streaks:
- 8 wins: Five schools
- 7 wins: Six schools
- 6 wins: Six schools
- 5 wins: 12 schools
- 4 wins: 19 schools
- 3 wins: 20 schools
- 2 wins: 45 schools
- 1 win: 47 schools
- 0 wins: 178 schools