Apr 3, 2014, 9:13 PM EDT
Kentucky enters the the Final Four as the lowest seed remaining. While the Wildcats are two wins away from the program’s ninth National Title — the second in three years under head coach John Calipari — Big Blue Nation has already secured a top spot this April.
On Thursday, Rupp Arena, named after Kentucky’s legendary coach, was called the best arena in college basketball, according to a complete list of all 351 Division I teams from StadiumJourney.com. Rounding out the list at No. 351 is Reitz Arena, home to Loyola (MD).
According to the site, constructing this list was a four-year process, using the following criteria:
Our reviews are based on several categories including: food & beverage in the arena, the overall atmosphere, the neighborhood in which the arena resides, the fans, the access (including traffic, parking, restrooms, and ability to move around in the arena), overall return on investment, and a catchall category for any extras.
The site’s top 10 went accordingly:
1. Rupp Arena, Kentucky
2. Carrier Dome, Syracuse
3. FedEx Forum, Memphis
4. CenturyLink Center, Creighton
5. Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Utah State
6. Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas
7. Crisler Center, Michigan
8. The Pit, New Mexico
9. Dean E. Smith Center, North Carolina
10. Frank Erwin Special Events Center, Texas
It’s hard to argue with the history and tradition of Rupp Arena and the University of Kentucky. The list is very interesting, though. G.B. Hodge Center, home to USC Upstate, which is an arena smaller than some high school gymnasiums, was high in the rankings No. 15. The home court for Rutgers, Penn State and DePaul fell in order at 335, 336, and 337 on the list. Those three arenas were the lowest on the list for power conferences.
- The Final Four is set, and it’s going to be insane 14
- No. 7 Michigan State reaches the Final Four for the seventh time under Izzo 9
- Wisconsin vs. Kentucky: The Final Four rematch we deserved to see 7
- No. 2 Arizona, Sean Miller’s quest to reach Final Four once again falls short 7
- Andrew Harrison’s late free throws send No. 1 Kentucky to the Final Four 71
- Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky catch fire as No. 1 Wisconsin beats No. 2 Arizona 9
- Rick Barnes is no longer the head coach at Texas 17
- Andrew Harrison’s late free throws send No. 1 Kentucky to the Final Four (71)
- Kentucky’s John Calipari is the National Coach of the Year, and it’s not close (36)
- Kentucky responds to Daxter Miles Jr.’s pregame comments (30)
- Updated tournament records: Big Ten teams make up half of Final Four (26)
- West Virginia freshman on Kentucky: ‘They’re going to be 36-1′ (20)