HSAC is a student-run organization at Harvard University dedicated to the quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management. This blog features the original contributions of Harvard undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and affiliates. HSAC does research for several sports-related publications and companies. Please contact us at harvardsportsanalysis@gmail.com if you have any questions or want more information.

Which Teams (and Coaches) are the Best at Developing Players?

By Harrison Chase and Nathaniel Ver Steeg In our last post, we looked at player progression in the NBA. We considered many variables, but two that we did not talk about are coaches and teams. It is reasonable to conclude that some coaches and organizations are better at developing players than others – or at …Read More

Does Travel Distance Affect Results in MLS?

By Brendan Kent A key feature of Major League Soccer that differentiates it from European leagues is the physical distance between the teams. While the two-conference system reduces the average distance an away team travels for a match (teams play in-conference opponents three times per year and out-of-conference opponents once), MLS teams still spend some …Read More

Player Progression in the NBA

By Harrison Chase, Nathaniel Ver Steeg, and Daniel Smith One of the most important jobs of any NBA team is player development. For as much money is spent on scouts and coaches to find and develop the potential of players, surprisingly little research (at least public research) has been done find out what factors accelerate …Read More

NBA MVP Voting: How Playing on the West Coast and Late-Season Surges Affect the Race

By Barrett Hansen The NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award has had its fair share of controversy in its half-century history. As in baseball, football and hockey, the MVP is currently determined by a panel of sportswriters. The root of the dilemma for these voters is that there is no set criteria for determining the …Read More

Predicting the NFL Draft Using Seven Numbers

by Bill Lotter I know you’ve probably seen 17 mock drafts, so I’m gonna keep this short and sweet.  Back in February, I built models to predict where a player will be drafted and how well they will do in the NFL using combine data alone.  Surprisingly, both models did fairly well.  Time to put …Read More

NFL Draft: Do BCS Champions Make NFL Busts?

by Henry Johnson With the NFL draft less than one week away, teams are scrambling to determine which characteristics of potential picks matter and which ones don’t. One possible trap to which teams might fall prey is an attraction to BCS champions. Players with national championship rings, after all, earn heightened media exposure and a …Read More

Does NHL Playoff Seeding Matter?

by Kurt Bullard NHL Playoff season is upon us, and with it, the unpredictability of the chase for the Stanley Cup. In 2012, the Los Angeles Kings not only won the Stanley Cup as an eight seed out of the Western Conference, but did so in dominating fashion, dropping only four games en route to …Read More

The Steve Kerr Effect

By Harrison Chase Coming off a fifty win season last year, the Golden State Warriors fired coach Mark Jackson and brought in unproven Steve Kerr. The results have nothing short of amazing. They have been the best team in the league this season, with a 10 game lead over the second place Rockets in the …Read More

The Link Between Tattoos and Technical Fouls

by Henry Johnson “The universality of tattooing is a curious subject for speculation,” observed Captain James Cook in 1779. A lot has changed since then, but the intrigue surrounding body ink remains. It was Jack London who, in 1883, was said to have remarked, “Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you …Read More

NCAA Tournament: Which Rounds See the Biggest Improvement in Seeds?

by Henry Johnson The NCAA Tournament’s round of 16 teams is deemed sweet for good reason: it’s when the matchups heat up. Gone are the pretenders, the double digit seeds biting at the ankles of favorites, the one-round wonders and the beneficiaries of easy paths. The Sweet Sixteen is very often the first chance to see …Read More