ESPN ranked the basketball arenas of the Southeastern Conference by which venue is the toughest on its opponents, and you’ll never in a million years guess which ranked first.
Okay. You probably guessed it. It’s Rupp Arena.
The Cats’ home floor was named toughest arena in the conference by the World Wide Leader, followed by Florida at No. 2 and then Vanderbilt.
Here’s what Jeff Goodman had to say about Rupp:
1. Kentucky Wildcats: Rupp Arena, opened in 1976
The downtown arena holds around 23,5000, and there is rarely a time when Rupp isn’t at capacity these days. The Cats have led the nation in attendance 25 times (last season included), and Kentucky has won nearly 90 percent of its games in the building. It’s a brutal place to play, especially these days, because of the rabid fan base and the talent in the program. Rupp isn’t at the level of Cameron Indoor Stadium or Allen Fieldhouse, but you can make a case for it being among the five most difficult places to play in the country.
Fun fact: Every season since Rupp opened, UK has ranked first or second in average home attendance.
You can see the entire rankings here.