After playing on the road in the opening rounds last year - and losing a second-round game to Wooster on its home floor - the Colonels have an even greater understanding of what it could mean to play at home.
"It really is a big advantage, especially the deeper you get into the tournament," guard Thomas Britt said. "It's nice to have that advantage on our side."
The Centre players said prior postseason experience is another advantage working in their favor. Franklin is making its first NCAA appearance since 2002.
"I think it's a tremendous advantage working in our favor," Nestheide said. "It's certainly a different environment, a different atmosphere (than the regular season)."
"The way we're playing, I think we definitely have a chance to win a couple of games, and last year definitely helps," added Britt.
Centre (25-2) earned the chance to play at home as a reward for a season that included a 25-game winning streak and a perfect 14-0 record in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season schedule.
And they said that success should bolster their confidence for Friday's game, even though they lost to Millsaps last time out in the SCAC Tournament final.
"Winning 25 games in a row, that should just give us confidence we can win six games in a row," Nestheide said.
However, Britt said all those wins don't give them much else in the way of an edge.
"It's a new season, and everything we've done so far doesn't mean anything right now," he said.
The Colonels climbed as high as No. 2 in one national poll, and the excitement level surrounding the team escalated throughout the season as well.
"The campus is buzzing, the community is buzzing, and the state is starting to talk about us," Centre coach Greg Mason said.
"I got here in 1990, and this is without a doubt the most popular team I've seen here. Last year's team was more talented, but this year there's almost a magical feel to it."
Tuesday's practice was Centre's first since its loss to Millsaps on Sunday. But while the players hadn't yet gotten a scouting report on Franklin, they had been doing some online scouting on their own.
"Everybody got on their Web site ... and was reading stats and scores," Nestheide said. "They're obviously a good team."
Britt, who was named the SCAC's player of the year last week, and Nestheide, who won the same award last season, now know they'll end their stellar careers in the NCAA.
"That's where you want to be. You want to be in the tournament, in this position," Nestheide said. "But Thomas and I don't want our careers to end yet."