A list of the best college basketball destinations in America has the University of Kentucky ranked 11th.
James Thompson created his list on tripsavvy.com of the best destinations in college basketball with UK falling just outside the top 10.
Here is how Thompson ranked his 13 best destinations.
4. Michigan State
6. Iowa State
A few surprises on there, particularly at the top, obviously. Thompson prefaces his list by stating that a good chunk of his rankings come from in-game experience, as well as the college town itself.
Kentucky is the only state in the south that cares more about basketball than it does football, which is what raises Kentucky near the top of our list. Big Blue Nation cares about their Kentucky Wildcats so much that the conversation permeates through talk radio and bar chatter on a 24/7 basis. Rupp Arena holds 23,500, which is largest college basketball venue that’s not a football stadium. (Syracuse’s Carrier Dome holds 33,000 for college basketball games.) We all know what UK offers in terms of basketball history. It’s hard to match up with 17 Final Fours and eight national championships. The double burger at Parkette Drive-In is a local delicacy and the live music at Two Keys Tavern will have you loving your trip. The added benefit of sneaking away for some time on the Bourbon Trail is the cherry on top of your Kentucky sundae experience.
If you’re going off in-game experience, it is hard to put Kentucky at the top unless it’s a big game. In that case, you can make the argument. Otherwise, when it is a late November game on a Wednesday evening against Fort Wayne, well, the in-game experience isn’t the best in the country.
It’s definitely a surprise to see Kansas and Duke at the bottom of the list, as most folks will tell you that those are two of the best arenas to watch a game. All in all though, Kentucky should be in the top 5 or 6, in my opinion.
What do you all think? What college arenas/towns have you been to and had a great experience?