As Kentucky fans, we may quibble about Rupp Arena from time to time, specifically the aloof atmosphere in the lower level, but there’s no denying that when Rupp’s rocking, it’s one of the best environments in college basketball. Seth Davis agrees. Yesterday, he ranked Rupp seventh on his list of the ten best venues in college basketball.
“Aesthetically speaking, there is nothing particularly interesting about Rupp Arena. It lacks the immensity of the Carrier Dome, the contours of the Dean Dome, the intimacy of Cameron or the historic charm of Hinkle. Yet when you go to a game at Rupp you always feel like you are at a big-time event. That’s because it is filled to the rim with more than 20,000 of the most rabid college basketball fans in the nation. No state has a more passionate love affair with its team, and Rupp’s location in downtown Lexington reflects how the Wildcats serve as the heartbeat of the Bluegrass. To step into Rupp is to hear the voice of Cawood Ledford, who called Kentucky games on radio for 39 years, or spy the specter of Bill Keightley, the team’s equipment manager for 48 years. Aside from the many UK victories (the Cats have won 89 percent of their games there), Rupp was also the setting for one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, when Villanova beat Georgetown in the 1985 championship game.”
The rest of the list includes the usual suspects. Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse is No. 1, followed by Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke, Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Palestra at Penn, and Indiana’s Assembly Hall. North Carolina’s Dena Dome makes the cut too, although I’d argue it makes Rupp look like MTV Spring Break 2000.
Check it all out at the link below, along with some old videos just because.