Atmospheres and Cheers: Examining the Big 12’s Top Five Student SectionsPosted by cwilliams on January 18th, 2012
Rabid student sections, steep and seemingly endless rows of seats, and deafening noise. These things are synonymous with a college basketball crowd that is so intense that it can literally change the outcome of the game. We’ve seen the Cameron Crazies, Pitt’s Oakland Zoo, and the Izzone. But, in my mind, I feel the arena atmospheres of the Big 12 schools are heavily underrated. Today, I’ll rank the five toughest Big 12 venues to visit, in descending order.
5. Iowa State: Hilton Magic, baby. While Hilton Coliseum’s crowd has not been as electric as it was in the past, Fred Hoiberg and Co. are slowly bringing back the magic. The students sit right on top of the court and create an atmosphere that is unique and worth seeing for any college basketball fan. In recent seasons, the students have once again begun to pack the arena.
4. Texas A&M: Known for the fondness of Aggie traditions and priding themselves on school spirit, the Aggie students support their teams until the end. They also have the fastest rushing of the court I’ve ever seen.
3. Missouri: Five years ago, many Big 12 basketball fans would have scoffed at this placement of Missouri. But ever since the resurgence of Tiger hoops, Mizzou Arena and the Zou Crew have gone wild for their Tigers. Also worthy of mention is the Antlers, a group of students whose sole purpose is to find creative (and controversial) ways to get in the heads of their opponents. Missouri students root for their Tigers rabidly from the home opener to Senior night. Of course, when the Jayhawks come to town, the intensity rises a bit. Pardon their French.
2. Kansas State: Fondly known as the “Octagon of Doom,” Bramlage Coliseum can be a nightmare for visiting teams. Whether it be the Wabash Cannonball, or the Bring on the Cats chant, K-State students know how to get Bramlage Coliseum to rock. Their intensity is matched only by their coach. Kansas State has upset many teams in recent years at Bramlage, and it’s safe to say the raucous student section deserves some recognition for those victories.
1. Kansas: As if you didn’t know that was coming. Allen Fieldhouse’s students aren’t intense. They’re fanatical. The student section is constantly rocking, whether they’re hosting rival Missouri or Wright State. “The Phog” is more than just an asset to the Kansas basketball team. It’s one of their leading contributors. Kansas has won 85 of their last 86 games at home, so, yeah, let that sink in. In my mind, Kansas’s Allen Fieldhouse isn’t just the toughest place to play in the Big 12. It’s the toughest place to play in the nation.