Was there a “dome effect” at the Final Four?

Was there a so-called “dome effect” to this year’s Final Four?

It wasn’t just Butler’s horrendous 18.8 percent shooting from the Reliant Stadium floor that raised that question after Connecticut beat the Bulldogs 53-41 in a very low-scoring national title game.

The shooting in all three games was sub-par, from the floor, from beyond the three-point line, from the free-throw line.

Remember, Kentucky made just four of 12 free throws in its semifinal loss on Saturday. And the Cats came into the game shooting 71.6 percent from the foul line.

Get this: Connecticut won the national championship despite making two of 23 three-pointers in its two games in Houston. Kemba Walker is one-of-nine from beyond the arc for the weekend.

There is just no preparing for the background in such a mammoth venue. The Saturday night crowd of 75,421 set a new Final Four attendance record.

Click on the continue button for the charts.

Here come the charts:

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  1. jhn says:

    I’m sure this plays a role- but was this dome any different than any other dome that has hosted a Final Four? I haven’t been to Reliant Stadium- so John, maybe you can give us some more background- Is the backdrop at Reliant sufficiently different than Lucas Field or the SuperDome or even the Georgia Dome?

  2. John Clay says:

    Last year’s Final Four was played at Lucas Oil Stadium, which had a similar configuration but drew four thousand fewer fans than did Reliant. Shooting last year was 41.1 percent, compared to 34.2 this year. Three-point shooting last year was 36.5 percent, compared to 28.1 this year. Free throw shooting was actually pretty much the same, 68.3 last year to 68.5 this year.

  3. Blaise Pascal says:

    I think I may be experiencing a “dome effect”. Should I see a doctor?

  4. jdub says:

    Is it just me, or did it seem that all 4 teams struggled more on the right side basket (by right side, I mean the basket on the right side of the TV screen). It seemed like if the ball even touched the rim on that particular basket it would make a rattle sound and bounce out and the only way to make a shot on that end was to do a “nothing but net” shot.

  5. Gary says:

    It was not great defense that led to Butler and UK shooting poorly against UCONN. They did play good defense, but both teams missed a lot of good shots.
    Free throw shooting can be attributed to the Dome affect, nerves, fatique (brought on prematurely by that intitial adrenaline rush, and other factors.
    They also used a raised floor. The spring of the floor could affect jump shots, especially 3′s.

  6. Keith says:

    The Wall Street Journal had a recent study starting in 1997 to last year as to the percentages of college teams shooting stats in domes compared to arenas and the results were amazing. The shooting percentage in arenas was shown to have 46% for two pointers and 36% for 3-pointers, whereas domes were shown to have 42% for two pointers and 32% for 3-pointers, having a difference of 4 percentage points.

  7. Joe says:

    Domes Blow Man, the numbers dont lie

  8. icbmcat says:

    In addition to any “Dome Effect” I also wonder about extremely tight rims in these final four venues. Watching Kentucky finish practice on Friday I saw a lot of spring in those hoops during the Cats free throw practice. Enough that I noticed and was not surprised by the poor shooting. It took “String Music in Houston, TX” (ahhh, for the days of Joe Dean, Sr. on SEC telecasts) to score.

  9. JackB says:

    I also mentioned the “tight” rims to a friend I was watching the games with on Saturday. VCU had tons of shots on that right side of the screen hit inside the rim and then come out. UK’s first half was on that side also. It seemed like it was a carnival goal. Everytime UK made a shot in the first half, they should have been given a stuffed animal.

  10. Jim says:

    Stats, lies and dam* lies…Love your extensive research, but let’s face the other, most telling stat and fact…The four teams at the Final Four combined for the most losses ever at that event. Congrats for advancing, but let’s face the hard truth that all four were just average, to little better than average, teams this year.

  11. Joe says:

    You would have thought these brand new rims could have been used at other venues to break em in a little better. There is also a torque meter available that can measure tension on rims, obviously this was not done and turned the Final Four into a fiasco.

    Rim tightness could have and should have been adjusted especially since the depth perception issue and elevated floor factors were unavoidable due to venue. Once again, the NCAA was substandard in their performance.