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.

USPGA Golf: The Impact of Tee Times

By Steven Rachesky In the first round of the 2014 British Open, 15 players out of the 18 total that shot 69 or better had teed off during the morning slots. During the afternoon, Royal Liverpool GC played much harder with significantly harsher weather conditions. Although this magnitude of discrepancy in performance between afternoon and …Read More

Eagles-Colts Call on MNF: Not Actually That Important

By Kurt Bullard Football fans – and sports fans in general – abhor the fact that mistakes made by the referees at the end of games can influence the result of the contest. Nowhere was this seemingly more apparent than in this week’s Monday Night Football game. Indianapolis seemed to have the game all but …Read More

NBA Loser’s Tax: Proof of Zach Lowe’s Observation

By Harrison Chase In the summer of 2012, the World Champion Miami Heat convinced Ray Allen, the all-time league leader in 3-pointers made and one of the best shooters in the league, to leave Boston for deal worth roughly three million a year – almost less than half as much as the Celtics were offering. …Read More

NFL First Down Analytics: A Case Against Momentum in Football

By Barrett Hansen The existence of momentum in the NFL has been debated extensively over the past half decade, with the majority of the analytics world siding against it. Grantland (ESPN) writer Bill Barnwell has become the analytics world’s unofficial champion of the anti-momentum cause, with extensive arguments here and here. A 2012 Sloan paper showed that big plays on …Read More

The Cavaliers’ Championship Window

By Julian Ryan The monster three-team trade (Philadelphia snagging picks and tanking…again) centered around Kevin Love and Andrew Wiggins has sparked much of the NBA chatter this past summer. Central to the debate is how many seasons Cleveland has in which it can realistically win a title with LeBron as its primary star. If the …Read More

Spatial Analysis of Corners

By Daniel Silberwasser Jose Mourinho, one of the most successful soccer managers of all time, once asked: “How many countries can you think of where a corner kick is treated with the same applause as a goal?” The self proclaimed “special one” answered his own question: “One. It only happens in England” (Anderson 24). Watching any soccer match confirms …Read More

US Open 2014: How It Compares to Other Grand Slams in “Craziness”

Caroline Wozniacki’s victory over Maria Sharapova Sunday at the 2014 U.S. Open capped off the madness of the women’s singles bracket at the U.S. Open. Only two of the top eight seeds—Serena Williams and Eugenie Bouchard—made it past the first week, with Bouchard falling Monday. By comparison, the men’s side of the bracket has gone …Read More

NBA Franchise Valuations: The Business of Basketball

By Austin Tymins As a result of the Donald Sterling controversy, the Los Angeles Clippers went up for sale in what quickly descended into a bidding war. Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer ended up with the highest bid for the team for a record-setting $2 billion. However, the most recent valuation done by Forbes magazine …Read More

A Different Measure of Diversity in Pro Sports

By Henry Johnson On June 24, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDE) released its evaluation of the NBA in terms of racial and gender hiring practices for executives, referees, announcers, coaches, and players. The league earned a grade of “A+” from TIDE, as 80.5% of players and 43.3% of coaches during the …Read More

NBA Finals: Is There a Heat-Refs Conspiracy?

Following in the footsteps of rigged lotteries and expelled superstars, the NBA conspiracy theory du jour holds that referees work their magic to help the Miami Heat win games. Paul George has griped about it and The Onion has spoofed it, but the theory’s doubters claim that the Heat deserve more calls because they attack …Read More