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Louisville, Rutgers among Big East's worst in foul disparity

On the Banks, SBN's Rutgers site, recently wrote an interesting post where it analyzed the foul disparities in the Big East this season. What they found was that the two teams who will meet in the RAC tonight get whistled a lot more times than their opponents.

Here are the rankings:

Big East total foul disparity:

1. Rutgers 76
2. DePaul 74
3. Louisville 48
4. Seton Hall 33
5. South Florida 26
6. Georgetown 16
7. Cincinnati -2
8. Syracuse -10
9. Connecticut -18
10. Villanova -22
11. Providence -23
12. Pittsburgh -27
13. West Virginia -33
14. St. John's -40
15. Marquette -46
16. Notre Dame -52

For whatever reason, 5.43 more fouls are called on Rutgers than its opponents per Big East game, the largest disparity in the conference. DePaul closely follows at 5.29. Four of the Big East's five double-digit loss teams have four of the five highest foul disparities. Again, that could just be random noise (depending on sample size and other factors), or it could indicate structural and/or bias fouls. Possibly all three or more explanations.

In Louisville's case at least, I think their ranking is more the product of both their reliance on the outside shot and the aggressive nature of their defense than it is not getting a fair shake from Big East officials. Still, it's certainly notable that of the five teams at the bottom (or top) of the foul disparity standings, only the Cardinals find themselves outside of the 12-16 range in the league standings.

The more you look at things like this, the more amazing it is that this team has already hit the 20-win mark.