A year after losing its 2015 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by getting swept from a playoff series in which it lacked home-court advantage, Real Madrid made sure over the long haul of a new, 30-game regular season not to fall victim to the same scenario.
Madrid started that season by thrashing Olympiacos Piraeus at home by 18 points in the competition's opening game, which commemorated the original one under Euroleague Basketball back in 2000.
Its first home loss came just two weeks later, against Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz, but that would prove Madrid's only fail on its home floor. Its next loss, on the road to undefeated CSKA Moscow didn't hurt as much, coming by a single point.
Another one-point road loss to Fenerbahce Ulker didn't prevent Madrid from reaching late December with a 9-5 record as part of a three-way tie for second place.
And that's when Madrid made its move. Los Blancos put together a nine-victory streak that propelled them into the first place to stay.
The streak started with 78-80 win at Anadolu Efes Istanbul, was followed by a tie-breaking 95-85 home decision against CSKA, and ended in the Spanish capital with a 101-83 victory over Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul.
Not only was that the EuroLeague's longest win streak this season, but Madrid finished as the only team that avoided losing two games in a row. Sergio Llull & co. have also defeated each team at least once this season.
Madrid enters the playoffs as the first-place team of the regular season, with a competition-best 23-7 record. Madrid was 14-1 on its home floor after having won the last 13 EuroLeague consecutively at WiZink Center.