Home-court advantage is a very real thing. There are not really any stats behind why teams traditionally play better at home but there are definitely a few factors as to why they do. First off, they feel more comfortable at home without having to travel anywhere and going through their regular routine at home. Second, they love the support their fans give them and want to play well in front of them. Finally, when the crowd is engaged in the game they can make life difficult for the opposing team by turning the noise level up. Let’s take a look at the top 10 college basketball arena’s where it is the toughest to play.
10. The Pavillion-Villanova Wildcats
The Pavillion is a small venue that only seats 6,500 people for basketball games but can it ever get loud in here. One of Villanova’s great attraction besides its academics is its basketball team and have they ever lived up to the hype. They are the reigning National Champions two of the past three seasons and their fans love them. They are 26-2 in the past two seasons at the Pavillion and their fans have played a big role in that. Since the arena is a smaller one fans are desperate to get a seat and they go nuts once they are able to get a seat to a game. When opposing teams come to the Pavillion the fans of the Wildcats have made it a very difficult time to come away with a victory.
9. Dean E. Smith Center-North Carolina Tar Heels
The Dean Dome has seen many legends play in it like Michael Jordan, James Worthy, and Vince Carter to name a few. Seeing those jerseys hanging in the rafters can give any opposing teams players goosebumps. This arena has a seating capacity of 21,750 people. Each and every one of those fans make a huge impact as they are loud and rowdy from the tip. The Tar Heels are 30-3 in the past two seasons and two seasons ago were undefeated at home. The Dean Dome has the history and traditions of being a tough place to play but the fans getting as rowdy as they do is the icing on the cake.
8. The Pit-New Mexico Lobos
Even though they are not a power 5 conference team, the New Mexico Lobos arena, The Pit, is one of the most raucous arenas in all of college basketball. The arena is built by digging a bowl and is built underground which gives it a much different feel in altitude level unlike many other arenas. The Pit seats 15,411 people and they have one of the highest attendance rates in all of college basketball. Since 1966, The Pit has averaged 15,400 fans showing that they have some very loyal fans. The Lobos are 25-8 in the past two seasons at The Pit and they have their fans to thank for always showing up and making it one of the most electrifying arenas in all of college basketball.
7. Kohl Center-Wisconsin Badgers
The Kohl Center is able to seat 17,230 people and their student section is one of the best in the nation. Known as the “Grateful Red” Wisconsin’s student section loves its basketball team and gets rowdy for all of the home games. In the past two seasons, the Badgers are 25-9 at home with 7 of those 9 losses coming in the most recent season after having a very down year as a program. During the Bo Ryan era, the Badgers held a 210-22 record at home showing that they have one of the toughest arenas to play in.
6. Rupp Arena- Kentucky Wildcats
Since John Calipari has taken over the Wildcats, Kentucky has been one of the premier basketball programs in college basketball. They bring in top talent every year that leads to them always being a contender for a National Championship. Their fans also make it difficult for opposing teams to come into the arena and win a game. Rupp Arena seats 23,500 people and you are sure to hear every single one of those fans. In the past two seasons, the Wildcats are 32-4 at home and throughout the history of their program, they have notoriously been known to be dominant at home making it a very hard place to play.
5. Carrier Dome- Syracuse Orange
The Carrier Dome is the largest college basketball arena with a seating capacity of 35,446 people and the Dome often fills to capacity even exceeding it on many occasions. For a team that has only won one National Championship in its program’s history, are their fans ever loyal and rowdy. The Dome has held the record for attendance by fans on many different occasions with the most recent being against Duke in 2014. Over the past two seasons, the Orange are 34-8 at home with many of those wins coming against top-ranked teams in the ACC. The combination of a huge arena and many loyal Orange fans makes it a difficult trip to Upstate New York for opposing teams.
4. Breslin Center- Michigan State Spartans
The Breslin Center is a daunting arena to play in thanks to the names that hang in the rafters and the fans that come to the games. The fans of Michigan State basketball are very loyal to their program and always show out even for games against weaker opponents. The Breslin Center has a seating capacity of 14,759 people. In the past two seasons, Michigan State is 31-3 in front of their home crowd. With such a raucous crowd, especially the student section taunting opponents, it is a difficult task for any team to come away with a victory in the energy-filled Breslin Center.
3. Assembly Hall- Indiana Hoosiers
Given the name by Gus Johnson as the “Carnegie Hall of College Basketball” should scream to you that this place is legendary. Assembly Hall is one of the most difficult places to play in all of the college basketball thanks to the crazy fans, the history of the arena, and the architecture design that helps make the arena even louder than it actually should be. Assembly Hall has a seating capacity of 17,222 people and they fill out every single seat often for games. Over the two most recent season the Hoosier have had down seasons so their home record has been skewed from the past success they have had in their history like having winning streaks of 50 and 35 games in past years. The atmosphere at Assembly Hall is electric making it an extremely difficult place to play.
2. Allen Fieldhouse- Kansas Jayhawks
National Championship banners and legends jerseys hang up in the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse making it a very intimidating place to play. You then have to listen to their loyal fans do their “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” chant and that’s when you realize you are in for a long day. Allen Fieldhouse has a seating capacity of 16,300 people and each one of those fans makes their presence felt. The Jayhawks own a 30-4 record on their home court proving that they do have an advantage on their court. With the fans getting rowdy and embracing the environment they make it an excruciatingly tough place to play for any opposing team.
1. Cameron Indoor Stadium- Duke Blue Devils
Cameron Indoor comes in at our rankings as the toughest place to play in all of college basketball. Combined with its history, the fans, and the success of Duke basketball on their home court it makes for a daunting task for any road team to go in their and come away with a victory. Cameron Indoor seats only 9,314 people, making it a smaller and noiser environment for the road team. The students, known as the “Cameron Crazies” truly make it a home-court advantage. With their creativity and energy it feels as if they are almost on top of you on the court thanks to the arena being smaller than most. When they reach out their hands towards a player inbounding the ball you have to think that the player is feeling the nerves and pressure of that. In the past two seasons, the Blue Devils are 29-2 in front of the home crowd proving that they have the best home-court advantage in all of college basketball.