February 19, 2013

Let's take a trip

I'm thinking I'd like to start visiting some of the best college basketball arenas in the country, maybe one a year, probably over Christmas break.

I'd rather get to them in the heart of conference season, maybe sit courtside during the big rivalry game, but that could be a bit cost and time prohibitive.

So, what are the best arenas in the country?

  • According to ESPN's Andy Katz...(arenas where I've already seen a game crossed off)
    • Kansas - Phog Allen Field House
    • Duke - Cameron Indoor Stadium
    • San Diego State - Viejas Arena
    • Louisville - KFC Yum! Center
    • Butler - Hinkle Fieldhouse
    • Indiana - Assembly Hall
    • New Mexico - The Pit
    • Gonzaga - The Kennel
    • Arizona - McKale Center
    • Kentucky - Rupp arena
  • According to Travel Channel (repeats from prior lists avoided)
    • Syracuse - Carrier Dome
    • Arkansas - Bud Walton Arena
    • Oklahoma State - Gallagher-Iba Arena
    • Vanderbilt - Memorial Gym
    • Stanford - Maples Pavillion
    • UCLA - Pauley Pavillion
    • Utah State - Smith Spectrum
    • Penn - The Palestra
    • North Carolina - Dean Dome
    • Minnesota - Williams Arena
  • Fannation (repeats avoided)
    • Michigan State - Breslin Center
  • From RantSports (repeats avoided)
    • Wisconsin - Kohl Center
  • From Rivals.com (repeats avoided)
    • Florida - O'Connell Center
    • St Bonaventure - Reilly Center
    • UNLV - Thomas & Mack Center
Of those, anybody have a particular recommendations?


Smamy said...

To me, two stand out. First on the list has to be a Blue Devils game at Cameroon Indoor Stadium. One word: Incredble. I have seen two games there. It was a surreal experience that I will never forget. Try going in and not getting goosebumps. It is impossible once the student section gets rocking. Plus the students are so intelligent in the way they harass the opposing team. That alone is worth the price of the ticket.

Second on the list has to be Hinkle Fieldhouse. The basketball history that has unfolded in this place is amazing, plus the Bulldogs are now playing at such a high level you are assured to see a great game. I have seen several games while I was in high school and college. Great experience. What I also like is the fact that most of the players and coaches are still playing or coaching at Butler because of the pure love of the game. It is what basketball in Indiana should be.

cmorin said...

I'd second the Hinkle Fieldhouse nod. What an awesome place to watch a game.

The Palestra is pretty incredible. If you can catch conference play late in the season, you'd have a lot of fun.

I also thought UCLA's Pauley Pavillion was pretty cool. And I know I'm biased but Ohio State used to play one game a year in St. John Arena. Its a great building to watch a game. It is soon to be tore down so they might not do it anymore.

Smamy said...

PS: Rupp Arena should be crossed off the list until Calipari retires or moves on. The thought of a single penny from my ticket going to support him in any way, shape, or form simply would drive me crazy. No respect for the guy. In a nutshell, I think he represents everything that is wrong with college ball.

PHSChemGuy said...

Let's see...in order...

Duke is my #1 choice. I've been inside but during the summer when they were repainting the place.

Butler would probably be the first to visit, though, because it'll be the easiest. Again, I've been in Hinkle but not for a game.

I miss Indiana basketball like hell sometimes, but I spoke to my Dad this week about sectionals, and it sounds like the thing I miss barely still exists.

The Palestra wouldn't be too tough to get to.

I superficially agree about Calipari. He's overseen two programs that had serious cheating and had two Final Four runs invalidated, and somehow he's escaped and individual culpability both times. I'm thinking that last year's title banner should be hung with Velcro.

He didn't however, create the concept of the one-and-done frosh. He just happens to be the best at recruiting and developing them.