Back in August I made a list of the Top 5 college football stadiums, using the criteria of gameday atmosphere, history, tradition, passion of fans and coolness of the building. The winner was Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium.
Basketball season is finally here, the beginning of a 5 month gauntlet that leads to the best two weeks of sports, The Road to the Final Four. It’s time to pick the 5 Best College Basketball arenas, the 5 places that should be on every college basketball fan’s bucket list.
The countdown begins!
#5 The Pit – University of New Mexico
Built in 1966, this “hole” is actually 37 feet below ground, which helps explain the incredible noise level produced by a rabid fan base. Since 1966, Lobo fans have averaged an amazing 95% capacity.
The Palestra – University of Pennsylvania
Built in 1927, The Palestra is considered a Cathedral in Basketball Lore. The place just oozes history and tradition. Site of the first NCAA championship in 1939, today’s fans sit on wooden benches just like they did in 1939. Very Loud
#3 Gallagher-Iba Arena – Oklahoma State University
Completed in 1938, this is another on campus arena that brings history and tradition to the list. The fans are very close to the court which creates a very rowdy and loud atmosphere. A big game here brings tremendous energy and atmosphere.
There are many great arenas in college basketball; it would be easy to include others, like Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, Oregon’s MacArthur Court and Indiana’s Assembly Hall in Spots 3 through 5…… but there are 2 arenas that stand head and shoulders above the others. These Top 2 spots go to the best in College Basketball. It would be easy to call it a tie… but I don’t believe in ties…… so the final 2 are;
#2 Cameron Indoor Stadium – Duke University
Beginning with the quirky name that recalls another era, Cameron is what makes college basketball a far superior product to the professional game. The fans are literally on top of the players, the students are totally into the game and are loud and entertaining, and the building stands as a shrine to the game. Every game here has the atmosphere of a championship game, and if it wasn’t for the small size it would be easy to make the argument that Cameron is # 1.
#1 Allen Field House – Kansas University
Built in 1950, Allen Field House has it all, history, tradition, size, passionate fan base, championship banners, and an atmosphere that is through the wooden roof. All this is fitting for a program who’s first coach was the inventor of basketball, James Naismith, and 3 of the all time winningest coaches played here, Phog Allen, Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith. Bleacher seats, close to court seating, high windows that allow natural light into the building, very loud students….. all are factors in making Allen Field House the best of the best.
Now…… give me your Top 5
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