Impact of Spring & Winter Break On Bball Games

Submitted by Soulfire21 on February 25th, 2013 at 1:27 PM

My boss and I were talking today, and he brought up a concern about our next two biggest home games with MSU and Indiana.  They both occur during spring break for the students at Michigan.  He was concerned that Crisler would lose some home-court advantage if too many students were absent.  Out of curiosity, I checked the record for Michigan under Beilien when students are away (both winter and spring breaks) and here's what I found.  Thanks to LSAClassof2000 for average attendance numbers for 2010, 2011, and 2012 as well as attendance at the spring break home games.

Beilien's Home Record During Spring Break:

Year Opponent/Ranking Result Attendance Avg.
2012 Purdue/NR L 61-75 12,721 11,326
2011 Michigan State/NR W 70-63 13,751 10.951
2010 Minnesota/NR W 83-55 10,561 11,603
2009 Purdue/#16 W 87-78 13,751 10,034
2008 Illinois/NR W 49-43 11,017 9,968
2008 Northwestern/NR L 62-60 7,927 9,968


Beilien's Home Record During Winter Break:

Year Opponent/Ranking Result Attendance


2012 Eastern Michigan/NR W 93-54 12,693 11,326
2012 Central Michigan/NR W 88-73 12,693 11,326
2012 Iowa/NR W 95-67 12,693 11,326
2011 Bradley/NR W 77-66 11,298 10,951
2011 Penn State/NR W 71-53 12,751 10,951
2011 Minnesota/NR W 61-56 12,721 10,951
2010 Bryant/NR W 87-71 8,758 11,603
2010 Purdue/#11 L 80-57 13,751 11,603
2010 Penn State W 76-69 11,771 11,603
2009 Ohio State/#15 W 73-64 13,751 10,568
2008 Oakland/NR W 89-76 10,113 10,034
2008 Florida Gulf Coast/NR W 76-59 8,279 10,034
2008 North Carolina Central/NR W 77-57 10,390 10,034
2008 Wisconsin/NR L 73-61 11,046 10,034
2008 Illinois/NR W 74-64 12,912 10,034
2007 UCLA/#8 L 69-54 13,069 9,968
2007 Wisconsin/.#24 L 70-54 8,855 9,968


  • 4-2 at home during spring break, 13-4 at home during winter break
  • 4-1 during spring break, 13-2 during winter break with the 2007-08 season removed (because OMG we were bad, not comprable to Beilien's other years)
  • 17-4 (0.764 win pct) over break (07-08 removed)
  • 2-1 against ranked opponents (07-08 removed)
  • We don't generally play talented teams over breaks
  • Big Ten schedulers were unforgiving to Michigan (in hindsight, of course)
  • 18 out of 23 games, Crisler has had an attendance greater than the season average during a student break
  • Crisler Center can definitely fill up when the students are away

Indiana concerns are somewhat mitigated by the fact that the tickets were included in the student season ticket pack (not the case with the MSU game, though students could still buy them for $10 a pop) and March 10th is the last day of spring break, so students should be back and presumably won't have as much homework or studying for exams.  Not to mention it is a possible #1 vs #2 scenario, should Michigan win the preceding games.

Michigan State, however, visits us on Sunday the 3rd.  I'm curious as to peoples' opinions about the atmosphere, etc. for this game.  Can we compete with what our boys faced at the Breslin?



February 25th, 2013 at 4:09 PM ^

Does it really matter at Michigan, though? Our crowds, especially basketball crowds, are pretty lame compared to the rest of the B1G. I really wish that wasn't the case, but the wine and cheese reputation that our crowds have is pretty spot on. It's as if people find it beneath themselves to actually stand up and make a lot of noise.

State Street

February 25th, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

Crisler was a totally different place last year against Purdue when the students were on break.  Essentially a neutral site game.

Let's hope the AD can find a way to change that this year.


February 25th, 2013 at 2:38 PM ^

and not many of my fellow students that I know of bought the Spring Break tix this year either. One of my classmates said, "Well it comes down to going someplace warm with my friends, or sulk about my midterms in the snow."

I think the prof said something like, "What do you mean? You don't like waiting until May for spring?"


February 25th, 2013 at 4:47 PM ^

Still the same policy.  Students had the option to buy all the break games.  From what I heard, a lot of students have bought MSU tickets.  Indiana tickets were included in the seating situation and it is the day before classes start, so expect a pretty big turnout for that game, especially in there is a lot of hype and the athletic department advertises it to students.  MSU could take a hit crowd-wise, but at the same time, the rest of the crowd is usually much louder.  Expect the place to be loud regardless.  Fans care a lot more about MSU than Purdue, Central Michigan, or Iowa.


February 25th, 2013 at 1:51 PM ^

They don't include the break games. Those are $10 a pop sold seperately...obviously the price isn't much but the issue is that students tend to overlook the fact that those games aren't included so they forget to order them. Hopefully the fact that it's sparty changes that, I know I ordered it the second I could lol


February 25th, 2013 at 1:41 PM ^

My concern is that people will sell their tix on StubHub, and all those MSU fans will buy them up.

I wish there was a way to pick what allegiance you can sell your tickets to


February 25th, 2013 at 1:54 PM ^

If you're talking about the student break tickets, you can't sell those on StubHub. They have a deal with UM that you need to put in the barcode so the University can tell which ones were sold to students and decline them....not that I tried to sell my roommates for a tremendous profit and failed or anything...


February 25th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

hmmm I never thought of this, as I suspend friendship with state fans during game weeks. Well I understand why they don't include these in the student ticket package...but imo they should have put the tickets directly on the Mcard when you buy them (like all of the other tickets) orrr just put on the ticket that you need to at least show an ID with it when you enter Crisler


February 25th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

Because if you're more of a casual fan, you don't really care. I'm not saying this is going to be rampant, but as a poster above stated, seats are assigned, so they wouldn't even have to camp out and they just buy a ticket listed on eBay and be sitting front row (I found one front row ticket) in the Maize Rage.

Again, I'm not saying the Maize Rage is going to be 50% Spartans because there's only a small number of tickets out there, and a smaller number of students selling. But based on the number of people posting in Facebook groups "NEED 4 TICKETS TO MSU," yeah, people want to do that.


February 25th, 2013 at 1:42 PM ^

I think with both opponents in the top ten the place will be rocking. The losses were to unranked teams and there wasn't as much anticipation. Fans will show up for MSU and IU.


February 25th, 2013 at 1:50 PM ^

I also think its important to consider that home court advantage is not just about the crowd.

The home team does not have to travel and practices on that floor with those rims every day. The fans definitely play a role but there are other factors. And I didn't even mention the refs.


February 25th, 2013 at 2:00 PM ^

At first I was like nnaaahhh but the more I think about it, there could be an effect. The intensity of the crowd will be down from the ohio game (best comparison thus far this season in opponent) because the Maize Rage won't be at full strength, and it seems like this team can really run off of the crowd...especially Timmy and Mitch. Big deal? nah. Kinda sucks? yea. 


February 25th, 2013 at 2:09 PM ^

As an alum who loves going to games, I can say that it'd take about 10 of me to equal the "home court advantage value" of 1 current student.  How is it that we play such big games over break?  How is it that MSU has a week to prepare for us...each time?  Maybe it's just bad scheduling luck, but it's a big factor in lessening the home court advantage.


February 25th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

Students don't get tickets to the Michigan State game on the 3rd, since it's right in the middle of spring break.  Still, student tickets were cheap for that game ($10), so there might still be a decent turnout for those in town.

We did get tickets to the Indiana game on the 10th, so I would expect a pretty good turout for that game, student-wise.  A section might not be filled in the upper bowl, but that's about it.  Atmosphere should be similar to Ohio State (I plan on camping out the night before).


February 25th, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

I'm pretty sure there were students camping out before the OSU game, so I would imagine this game is the same.  Even though 6 am will probably get you bleachers, I don't want to take the chance after I showed up 5 hrs early for OSU and was stuck in the alternate lower bowl section.


February 25th, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

Another conclusion to draw, although it's already been made, is that whoever scheduled us this year did a craptastic job.  Of course, this is all in hindsight, but honestly with @Indiana, Ohio State, @Wisconsin, @Michigan State within a couple weeks and then putting MSU and Indiana over our spring break, pffft.

Though Indiana I imagine will be a rocking atmosphere, also a potential #1/#2 matchup if Michigan wins their games leading to that one.  I'm sure Crisler will fill up for it (last day of break, students returning, no exams/hw to really deal with, etc.)


February 25th, 2013 at 4:02 PM ^

Every Big Ten team had a gauntlet to go through at some point.  It wasn't just us.  MSU is in the midst of a stretch of IU, OSU, Michigan and Wisconsin.  OSU has recently faced Michigan,  IU, Wisconsin and MSU.  IU has recently gone on the road to OSU and MSU and will soon play us.  In a deep league, these stretches are pretty unavoidable.

As for playing during spring break, you can't really fault the league office there.  It likes to have marquee matchups late in the season. We happen to schedule our spring break unusually early. 


February 25th, 2013 at 8:05 PM ^

MSU got 2 home and 2 away games to our 3 road games.

Ohio State also had two of the opponents you listed at home so far, and while they faced all that you mentioned, it wasn't back-to-back-to-back-to-back like ours.  There was a sprinkling of Northwestern and Minnesota to break up those games.  IU doesn't have a stretch like ours at all.  So, our schedule was objectively the worst of the top of the Big Ten.

Also, MSU's break is the same as ours.  I don't really want to bother looking up everyone else's but your last point doesn't make sense.  If the league wants late marquee-matchups, yet our spring break is early, what are you even trying to say?  I don't think that countered anything I said, but maybe I am misunderstanding you.


February 25th, 2013 at 6:07 PM ^

How is that not on Brandon? He did not see this schedule the same day we did when it was released last spring. While the teams you miss at home and on the road are on a grid, I can assure you that the schools have a say in when these games are played since they are at facilities owned by the universities.

DB was clearly out to lunch on this and let the team be put in a terrible spot  competitively speaking.


February 25th, 2013 at 3:06 PM ^

Championship teams play through challenges like this.  Do I wish that Crisler will be a craazy environment for what is sure to be a nationally televised game?  Yeah, but if these guys want to hang a banner, they'll have to play through this stuff and get it done regardless.  Beat State.  Beat Indiana.


February 25th, 2013 at 3:56 PM ^

I went to that stupid Purdue game at Crisler last year, taking my record to 1-7 in that building.  A stark contrast to my 26-2 record at the Big House.  (That's why I don't go to basketball games anymore because I'm bad luck.)

But even knowing the students would be gone, the atmosphere was surprisingly bad, even before a shitty Boiler team took control of the game.  And the alumni pep band, bless their hearts, sounded just awful.

Students aren't the main factor but we should have the best possible atmosphere for the State game.  Why the hell couldn't we have a home game against Penn State or Nebraska during spring break?


February 25th, 2013 at 4:23 PM ^

I could only go back through three years (as I have to work while I do this, as strange as that sounds), but at least for spring break, the trend seems to be towards attendance actually being better that average, at least overall (not necessarily students). 


2/25/2012 12,721 11,326
3/5/2011 13,751 10,951
3/2/2010 10,561 11,603

Last year, attendance was actually almost 11% greater than the season average, so at least in the past two seasons, Crisler has managed to remain full even during break. I was there for the State game in 2011 - the place was pretty darn loud despite Spring Break being that week.