I’ve heard people argue differing opinions about who has the best fan base in college basketball. A handful of schools consider themselves to be near the top, and have legitimate arguments as to why they belong there. On a list of the best fan bases in college basketball, surely Kentucky would be at the top, right? Or at least in the top 3. That would almost seem to be a given, even from an outsider perspective. Kentucky basketball fans are passionate, they follow the team to the most random of places just to watch them play, and they genuinely live and breathe Kentucky basketball. Surely Kentucky would be at the top, or just behind.
According to a study by Emory Sports Marketing Analytics, Kentucky’s fan base checks in at #7. Who grabbed the number one spot? I’ll warn you in advance, in case you didn’t read the title thoroughly, this one is going to hurt. The study says that Louisville has the #1 fan base in college basketball. According to CBSSports.com, the study “measured fan base as ‘a school’s men’s basketball revenue relative to the team’s performance.’ They used a model that predicted team revenues compared to a team’s winning and post-season success.”
The top 10 looks like this:
5. North Carolina
10. Oklahoma State
Once I saw the rest of the list and realized that the ranking was tied very tightly with revenue, and virtually had nothing to do with the actual make-up and passion of the fan base– the list made a little more sense.