From barns to boring arenas, the wide range of basketball viewing choices is no secret among Big Ten sports fans.
With arenas dating to the 1920s and others yet to turn seven years old, the conference boasts varying degrees of architectural brilliance and game day experiences. Using age and atmosphere as the main criteria, here are the best Big Ten basketball arenas.
No. 14. Bryce Jordan Center | Penn State
For those who have visited the BJC as a fan, player or media member, many can agree this past season was an anomaly.
A typical midweek nonconference matchup can quickly turn sleepy in Happy Valley.
Nonetheless, the Jordan center was rocking for its first sellout since 2011 in a February men’s victory over Minnesota.
No. 13. Welsh-Ryan Arena | Northwestern
By far the smallest arena in the Big Ten, the remodeled Welsh-Ryan is hardly a madhouse.
The Wildcats finished with a mere eight wins last season and drew over 7,000 fans only once for a game against Illinois.
Nestled in suburban Chicago, Evanston’s collegiate inhabitants present a welcoming environment for visiting teams.
No. 12. Value City Arena | Ohio State
With a seating capacity of 18,809 for basketball games, one of Columbus’ many arenas can feel hollow if the Buckeyes are not among the nation’s best.
Still, with head coach Chris Holtmann leading the Bucks to 20+ win seasons each of his three years, Ohio State home games are rowdy for rivalry match-ups.
No. 11. Pinnacle Bank Arena | Nebraska
The newest construction of the Big Ten basketball homes, the downtown Lincoln location appeals in infrastructure and proximity to Nebraska’s campus, but lacks a true “college feel.”
Resembling an NBA arena more than a college one, Pinnacle Bank Arena is an upgrade over smaller Bob Devaney Sports Center despite its stark contrast to football’s Memorial Stadium.
No. 10. Crisler Center | Michigan
For a school well known for the “Fab Five” and NCAA championship appearances, the Crisler Center’s one level bowl spreads wide and allows sound to evaporate rather than intimidate opponents.
Though both the men’s and women’s teams are among the nations best, the blue and maize call an uninspiring home their own.
No. 9. Rutgers Athletic Center | Rutgers
More commonly known as the RAC, the Scarlet Knights’ dream season on the men’s side was powered by its home record.
Though the triangular 8,000 seat arena is far from an architectural wonder, any program that finishes 18-1 at home has a home court advantage worthy of recognition.
After all, Rutgers won only two games away from its beloved home last year.
No. 8. State Farm Center | Illinois
Dating back to 1959, the arena formerly known as Assembly Hall reentered the national spotlight on the heels of a men’s basketball resurgence.
The Fighting Illini played in front of capacity crowds for each of their last six home games.
Still, Illinois’ basketball program is not part of the conference’s upper echelon historically.
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No. 7. Kohl Center | Wisconsin
In the heart of Wisconsin, the “Madhouse in Madison” lives up to its name.
Providing consistently stellar men’s program crowds nearing 17,000 for every home game, the mid-90’s constructed arena gives Wisconsin an advantage every time it takes the court. Still, by no means is it unique.
No. 6. Mackey Arena | Purdue
Though only the second best Big Ten arena in Indiana, Purdue’s Mackey Arena has housed over 50 years of basketball brilliance.
A typically all-black shirted student section adds to the mystique of a great basketball experience.
The only problem is there is too much distance between fans and the court.
No. 5. Carver-Hawkeye Arena | Iowa
Eerily similar to Purdue’s gym, Iowa’s single level establishment permits an intimate viewing experience for Hawkeye fans alike.
Iowa’s mens and women’s programs suffered a measly two losses combined in Iowa City last season. Though typically not national title contenders, Iowa at home can often appear as one.
No. 4. Williams Arena | Minnesota
“The Barn” of Minneapolis resembles one in every fashion.
With an arched roof designed as an airplane hangar, the Golden Gophers’ home is one of the hidden gems in college basketball.
Though neither the men’s or women’s programs draw fantastic crowds, this building alone puts it among the Big Ten’s best.
No. 3. Xfinity Center | Maryland
The formerly ACC-based Maryland Terrapins have brought basketball culture to the Big Ten in every way.
Home to “the Wall,” Maryland’s student section features over 2,000 seats behind the visiting team’s second half basket, and students have every reason to brag about their stellar men’s and women’s programs.
No. 2. Breslin Student Events Center | Michigan State
Earning a victory in East Lansing is an impressive accomplishment, and for good reason.
The “Izzone” student section of over 4,000 students gives the national title-contending Michigan State Spartans a great home court advantage.
Not to mention, Magic Johnson sits in statue form outside the arena.
No. 1. Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall | Indiana
Finished at the same time as Bobby Knight’s arrival to Bloomington, Indiana’s Assembly Hall has seen the highs and lows of Hoosier basketball.
With an ever-devoted fanbase, oddly small seating arrangements behind each basket and steep balconies atop each of the main grandstands, Assembly Hall is a hectic and memorable experience for all in attendance.
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