We just took our mid-season look at foul differential in the ACC and the results were somewhat surprising.
You can see the full chart at our site, but here's the quick and dirty list of teams and foul differential per game.
Miami + 3.9
NC State +3.26
Virginia Tech +2.62
Wake Forest +2
Georgia Tech +1.2
For one, Duke doesn't get "all of the calls" but we already knew that, but the Blue Devils do draw the 2nd most fouls per game in the ACC. The big surprise to me was Wake Forest who was in the middle of the pack in foul differential per game.
It seems pretty clear there is a correlation between inside play and foul differential, but definitely not in wins (see NC State).
So go bust the chops of your UNC friends.
Not too surprising when you can turn on a UNC game at any random point during the game and have at least a 20% chance of seeing Hansbrough standing at the free throw line.
Getting ready to drain a free throw like he's in the shower, I guess...
Well, I would also venture to say that UNC leads the ACC in offensive possessions so this foul differential statistic is not all that surprising.
Just to dispute this point further, NC State currently ranks last in tempo (you'll have to sort by tempo) and is 3rd in foul differential.
Some teams/players aggressively challenge the defense in order to draw fouls. Some teams/players aggressively play defense and thus potentially commit a lot of fouls.
Duke happens to do both, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they draw a lot of fouls and commit a lot of fouls. UNC has at least one player who draws a ton of fouls but they're somewhat passive on defense, so it also shouldn't be a surprise that they have a high differential.
I'm not suggesting anything negative about riverside's study. To me, it shows offensive and defensive tendencies of the various ACC teams. But IMO you'd need a lot more sophistication before you could suggest that the referees favor UNC. Which of course they do. (insert ironic smilie here)
Interesting analysis. At this point in the season, though, the majority of games have been played out-of-conference, so these values are largely a reflection of scheduling. Also, UNC hasn't played in many close games; having the other team foul at the end of the game tends to inflate the stats. I'd be curious to see some further breakdown, such as offensive fouls versus defensive fouls, and number of free throws taken. Those who shout "XXX gets all the calls" tend to look at free throws more so than number of fouls, and a lot of times the number of fouls is actually much closer.
Just spot checking the foul differential per possession is around .05 for both UNC and NC State which is the highest for any ACC team. This would equate to an additional .6 foul differential in 12 possessions for NC State or -.6 for UNC in 12 fewer possessions.