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SI’s Top Ten Toughest Arenas

No need to guess #1 here...

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NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Duke
Mar 3, 2018; Durham, NC, USA; Actor Ken Jeong (right) reacts to a Duke Blue Devils basket during the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke won 74-64. 
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated rates the top ten arenas in college basketball and Cameron is at the top. No surprise to those of us who know it well. It’s a very difficult place to win.

It’s not the only one of course. Here’s the complete list:

  1. Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke)
  2. Allen Field House (Kansas)
  3. Rupp Arena (Kentucky)
  4. McCarthey Athletic Center (Gonzaga)
  5. Assembly Hall (Indiana)
  6. The Pit (New Mexico)
  7. Carrier Dome (Syracuse)
  8. Breslin Center (Michigan State)
  9. Cintas Center (Xavier)
  10. Hilton Coliseum (Iowa State)

We’d love to see games in any of these arenas but make sure to check out the comments about the Pit. That place is largely underground and there’s not much room for the sound to escape. It must be brutal. Keep this in mind too: New Mexico is the only program here that is not consistently successful. Those folks are loco for their Lobos.

Notably absent from this list: UNC and Maryland. UNC has improved over the early years in the Dean Dome - Carmichael was a real beast but The Dean Dome is not nearly as intimidating. And Maryland basketball has fallen off since moving to the Big Ten. That goes for the crowd too, which not only has had less good basketball to cheer for but which can barely mount a decent riot even when they do win.

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