We’re nearing the end of the college basketball regular season, and that means March Madness is right around the corner. HELL YES. That also means that college basketball fans are about to take their cheering talents on the roads for conference tournaments, as well as the NCAA Tournament.
That also brings up the point of this article, college basketball fans. College fans in general really are what make college sports so great. Just thousands of drunk college kids screaming their hearts out with the hopes of their team defeating their rival. Since it’s basketball season, we’re going to stick with college basketball fans. Let me start off by saying this, college basketball fans can be absolutely ruthless and I love everything about it. When they find something out about an opposing player, they will mercilessly use that fact against the player for the entire game, chanting whatever saying they come up with for hours on end.
For myself personally, I would crumble under the pressure of playing on the road in a tough environment, as do a lot of college basketball players I’ve seen throughout the years. For them, it’s because they may have had a bad game, but for me, it’s because I’m a weak minded individual. So with this piece, we, and by we I mean me, went ahead and ranked the five toughest places to play in college basketball. If your team was left off of the list, I don’t know what to tell you. Sorry, I guess. Or you can just cheer louder and harder so your team makes the cut next year.
5. Peterson Event Center – Pitt
I may be going off years past on this one, but “The Pete” use to be one of the toughest places to play in not just the Big East, but in all of college basketball. And before I go on with praising Pitt fans, let me say that I can’t tell you how much I hate all of the conference realignment that’s happened in college sports these past few years. The Big East was the absolute best college basketball conference and the fact that it’s not the same as it was when I was growing up sucks, end rant. Anyways, Pitt’s student section aka “The Oakland Zoo” was, and still is to some extent, one of the loudest student sections in all of college sports, and up until last season, helped play a part in Pitt having an 89% home winning percentage, which is nuts. Unfortunately, Pitt is not as good as they used to be at the moment, but they’ve been playing teams tough this year (except Louisville), so they may not be down for long.
4. Rupp Arena – Kentucky
I went to the University of South Carolina, and whenever Kentucky would come to town for a basketball game, over half the place was filled with blue shirts. If that many fans are willing to travel for a road game, you can only imagine like what one of their home games is like. I’ll say this about Kentucky fans, they’re very smart when it comes to basketball, and also very passionate about their Wildcats. They’re also very loud, and when you’re team goes into Rupp Arena, they can get very ruthless. It also helps when they get the best recruits in the country each year dunking all over teams left and right, causing their fans to be that much louder.
3. Allen Fieldhouse – Kansas
I know this stat may not be official or accurate, but Kansas literally never loses at home. Okay, I know they did recently to Iowa State, but before that they were on a 51-game home winning streak, which is absurd. Like any good fanbase, the Kansas fans make their home court one of the toughest environments to play in in all of college sports. Their “rock chalk” chant is one of the most iconic chants in all of sports and whenever they’re not doing that, they’re screaming loudly in the face of opposing teams. There isn’t a whole lot going on in Lawrence, Kansas, except for Jayhawks basketball, so I understand the passion that the fans bring to each game. Keep doing you, Kansas fans.
2. Carrier Dome – Syracuse
Want to know why the Carrier Dome is such a tough place for opposing teams to play in? Because it’s also where Syracuse plays their football games, which means it can hold 35,000 people. Let me say that for you again, 35,000 PEOPLE! That’s more than NBA arenas can hold! How would you feel if you’re playing a basketball game with 35,000 lunatics screaming at you? You’d probably be scared shitless and play pretty awful. Syracuse fans also strike me as an angry fanbase because it snows like 200 days out of the year there, and maybe gets up past 70 degrees only a handful of times. So of course if you’re a Syracuse fan during the months of January and February you’re going to get blackout drunk and take your anger out by screaming at opposing teams. You’re cold, angry, and drunk, I don’t blame you!
1. Cameron Indoor Arena – Duke
Of course, this is the toughest place to play in college basketball, is that even a debate? From what I’ve been told, Cameron Indoor Arena is a small ass gym with little to no air conditioning and the student section is basically right on the court (as you can see in the above picture). So opposing teams have to play in a loud, hot, and tiny gym with a bunch of Duke fans literally screaming in their faces and being so close to the court that they can almost touch them. Also, because the Cameron Crazies all attend Duke, they’re a bunch of rich nerds, and they’re able to come up with some brilliant and creative chants to get into the heads of the opposing players. And don’t take offense that I called you nerds, Duke fans, if I were smart enough I would have gone to Duke in a second.