The clock is running low, and your team is down, but only by a few. Each player on the floor is exhausted, running on what little fuel they have left. Thankfully, they have an advantage on their side, an advantage that just might give them the extra push needed to pull off the W. Your playing at home, and the student section is louder than they have been all game. The other team gets distracted by the cheers for the home team as well as the jeers directed towards themselves. Although your team is worn out, the crowd pumps them up, and they start playing at an intensity level unlike anything that they have reached all game.
If there is any sport where a home game advantage holds true, it is none other than college basketball. Something very special happens when you mix lively college students with alcohol and body paint, and then cram them in a tightly packed arena for a competitive sporting event. It’s truly like magic, and it can cause huge upsets and late game comebacks unlike anything else. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best collegiate student sections to show why they always have the upper hand while playing at home.
Winning over 90% of their home games, the University of Pittsburgh Panthers undoubtedly have more than just a little bit of help from the students in the Zoo. There is no shortage of blue and gold wigs, costumes, or creative signs in the Peterson Events Center, and it can be a dreadful place to play for any away team.
Welcome to the Izzone. Often said to be the toughest place to play in the Big Ten. Some of the most dedicated student fans in the entire realm of college basketball pack the Breslin Student Events Center every home game, which may be one of the major factors as to why the Michigan State Spartans have had 15 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
Rock! Chalk! Jayhawk! Kansas unquestionably is one of the toughest places to pull off a W if you are the away team, and students at the University of Kansas are notoriously known for camping out for the next home game as soon as the last one is over. That is a major part of the reason why the Jayhawks are 155-7 in Allen Fieldhouse under coach Bill Self.
Nearly 40 percent of tickets are reserved for students at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, and it can be one of the most intimidating places to play in college basketball. Although the Utah State Aggies don’t receive as much attention as other schools on the list, they definitely deserve just as much credit. The 4,000 student fans that attend just about each and every home game are particularly devoted, and they won’t hesitate to challenge any larger Division 1 school to come see them at the Spectrum.
When it comes to student cheering sections, no one does just quite like the Duke University Cameron Crazies. The Blue Devils have racked up 19 undefeated seasons in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and students have been known to camp out for weeks for upcoming home games. In fact, Duke’s home basketball games have consecutively sold out since 1990, making it the longest sellout streak in college basketball history. For these reasons, it’s no wonder why ESPN and Sports Illustrated voted Cameron as the best college basketball arena in the country.