There’s Fenway Park in MLB and Lambeau Field in the NFL. In the NBA, there’s the iconic Madison Square Garden, and in college football you’ve got The Big House, the Rose Bowl and a collection of other legendary venues.Those should be on any sports fan’s bucket list. But what are some venues college basketball diehards need to visit at some point in their lives?
Here are five that you must experience in person.
The Hoosier State is synonymous with basketball, and though there are several quality hoops programs in the state of Indiana, IU still has the biggest following. And watching a game at Assembly Hall is unlike anything else.
The venue opened in 1971 and has played host to some phenomenal teams. The Hoosiers have posted home winning streaks of 50 and 35 games, and Bob Knight certainly had some memorable moments in the Bloomington arena.
And a bonus for college basketball fans: Hinkle Fieldhouse, which was featured in the movie ‘Hoosiers’ is just 90 minutes away. Butler’s home arena arguably deserves a spot on this list, too, but potential road trippers might as well knock out these two classic buildings in the same week.
McCarthey Athletic Center
Most know Gonzaga’s basketball arena as ‘The Kennel.’ The Bulldogs’ gym only seats 6,000 people, but it makes every last fan count. Gonzaga supporters are some of the loudest in all of college basketball, and it’s tough to match their game-day atmosphere.
Gonzaga has gone 157-12 in The Kennel since 2004. Talk about home-court advantage, but more importantly, a place that you need to watch a college basketball game.
Named after legendary former head coach Adolph Rupp, Rupp Arena is an absolute classic. Located in downtown Lexington, the venue seats roughly four times as many people as The Kennel. And when the Wildcats are on a roll, their fans make a ton of noise.
On Jan. 2, 2010, Kentucky defeated in-state rival Louisville in front of 24,479 people. That was a Rupp Arena record. Kentucky fans are crazy about their Wildcats, and the game-day atmosphere is electric.
Cameron Indoor Stadium
Perhaps the most famous college basketball arena in the country, Cameron Indoor seats less than 10,000 people. But this crowd sure knows how to root on its Blue Devils.
Cameron Indoor opened in 1940 and has played host to several great Duke teams since then. The ‘Cameron Crazies’ are notorious for being some of the most passionate fans in college hoops, and seeing a game in Durham should be on any basketball fan’s to-do list.
Named after the great Phog Allen, Allen Fieldhouse has been Kansas’ home since 1955. The court itself is named after James Naismith, so that tells you all you need to know about taking in a game at this iconic venue.
Since 2007, the Jayhawks have gone 141-3 at Allen Fieldhouse. That’s just unheard of. If you’re a fan of a Kansas rival looking to attend a game, hope for the best but prepare for the worst as far as outcome is concerned. Still, it is an absolute must-see as far as college basketball arenas go.