I never really gave any thought to this before, I guess I just assumed that there was a standard ball that all teams used. I could definitely see how this could help explain the effect of home court advantage, as well as how some shooters can inexplicably go cold on the road.
The N.C.A.A. does not require the use of a specific brand of basketball during the regular season. The home team plays with its preferred type, whether it is Nike or Spalding or Adidas. The choice is often tied to the team’s equipment contract. Because each brand has a distinct feel, it is just another reason it is hard to play on the road in college basketball.