Cameron crazies, Coach K, top-flight college talent ... Cameron Indoor Stadium is widely considered the most famous NCAA college basketball arena. As the scene of countless high-stakes showdowns between the Blue Devils and -- well, everyone else -- this arena is famous for many college basketball fans.
Stephen O'Connell Center
Wall to wall blue and orange. That's what you'll encounter inside this innocuous looking arena that plays host to the Florida Gators basketball team. Florida's fans band together to create a colorful wall of support for their Gators.
Michigan State’s top-notch stadium is a real source of Spartan pride. Built in 1989, the Breslin Center has served as the home court of numerous Spartan players before they made the jump to the NBA including Steve Smith, Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson. The Breslin Center’s capacity for 14,759 screaming Spartan fans no doubt provides an edge for the home team.
The University of Minnesota can make the claim that its raised floor is one of the most unique features in an NCAA basketball arena. At the very least it puts Minnesota head and shoulders above almost all the rest.
The University of Southern California's relatively new Galen Center, finished in 2006 in the heart of Los Angeles, brings an air of funk to the Trojans' pre-game routine. The SC band brings some of the grit from the surrounding area inside the arena by adapting popular hip hop songs for the pregame warmup — something special for both the fans and the team.
You can’t help but feel the history in Philadelphia. The University of Pennsylvania boasts the oldest venue that hosts collegiate events in the entire country. The fact that this building could do with a facelift doesn’t detract at all from the historical aura of this arena.
Thomas & Mack Center
Las Vegas has much going for it, but one thing the city misses out on is big-league sports. Luckily, the city has the Thomas & Mack Center to play host to the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. During UNLV's run of NCAA success in the 1980s and '90s, the arena was the best place to "see and be seen" that wasn't a professional arena.
Dean E. Smith Center
In one of the most basketball-crazed conferences in the country, the "Dean Dome" is one of the most well-known venues. Carolina's history is reflected throughout the arena from the name to the many Final Four and championship banners hanging from the rafters.
Maples Pavilion has since undergone a renovation, but back in the day, the floors were a bit ... springy. The boards by the visitor's bench actually bounced. When opposing teams shot free throws, the Stanford student section would literallly jump up and down to shake the floor and disrupt the player's rhythm. Leave it to Stanford kids to use architecture and physics to increase the home-court advantage.
Someone mentions Pauley Pavilion and the words instantly conjure thoughts of the legendary John Wooden, the players who became stars at UCLA before going onto greater fame in the NBA, and of course, the championship banners. There is a certain pride among Bruins in those banners. The Bruins don’t hang division or Final Four banners — only championship banners make the cut. Pauley will be closed this season due to massive, ongoing renovations. However when Pauley reopens, the history will remain.
Matthew Knight Arena
Everything the Oregon Ducks have done as of late is flashy and eye-catching — from their football uniforms to the rollout of their new basketball arena. Named Matthew Knight Arena, its features are uniquely “Duck.” Opened in January of 2011, the court features a unique design best captured in pictures as it is almost indescribable in mere words.
Bud Walton Arena
What's so special about a little arena in Arkansas? For starters, this building is anything but small. The Bud Walton Arena seats over 19,000 people and remains one of the biggest in the SEC. This arena occupies a unique spot among college basketball venues, and the Razorbacks are the only team in the last 25 years to win the NCAA championship during the inaugural year of their arena.
If nothing else, this arena is cool simply for its name ... the Carrier Dome. It just sounds imposing and impressive. Or maybe it’s the capacity for almost 35,000 fans that inspires awe of this arena amongst basketball fans. Syracuse University annually battles Kentucky for the No. 1 spot on the average attendance list.
The Jayhawks are some fierce birds. From their homegrown traditional chants to getting loud and hyped up to support their team during warmups, Allen Fieldhouse can be mistaken for a madhouse before basketball games.
The Kentucky Wildcats boast a program that has maintained one of the most rabid fan bases in college basketball. Few programs even approach the ferocity seen at Rupp Arena. The arena’s namesake, Adolph Rupp, spent 42 years coaching basketball at the university and remains one of the sport's legendary figures to this day.