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Serving for the century mark

The longest home-court winning streak in men’s college basketball belongs to the Kansas Jayhawks, who have won 44 games in a row at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

From 1985-1994, the Miami Hurricanes won 58 games in a row at the Orange Bowl, the longest home-field win streak in college football history.

Those streaks pale in comparison to what the No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team has accomplished since April 5, 2003.

On that day, OSU lost at home to No. 1 Illinois by a score of 5-2. Almost seven years and 95 home matches later, the Buckeyes have not been beaten in Columbus.

Coach Ty Tucker doesn’t place any emphasis on protecting home court, but junior Matt Allare thinks the streak holds some significance.

“It’s incredible. I don’t want to be a part of the team that loses,” Allare said. “But it’s really about focusing and getting through the match at hand.”

The Buckeyes moved into their current home, the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center, in November of 2007. The 57,000 square-foot facility can accommodate more than 400 spectators, which gives the team a distinct home-court advantage.

College tennis matches are completely different from professional contests, which are notorious for their aristocratic atmospheres. From start to finish in OSU’s 6-1 dismantling of No. 22 North Carolina on Sunday, the Buckeye crowd was raucous and at times appeared to affect the play of the Tar Heels.

Allare was quick to credit the fans for assisting in the team’s home-court dominance.

“I know when we go into a top program’s place it’s always tough,” Allare said. “I think [the crowd] does affect the other teams. We have great fans and it gets loud in here.”

If the Buckeyes continue their run of home-court supremacy, they would reach their 100th straight home victory March 28 against Penn State.

“[One hundred wins] would be unbelievable,” Allare said.  “But we will take it one match at a time.”

OSU is off to Charlottesville, Va., where they will compete in the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 12 through 15 at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.

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