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Monday, August 8, 2016

Basketball Notebook: Allen Fieldhouse vying for title of toughest venue in college basketball

Fans in the student section salute the Jayhawks' 12th-straight Big 12 title following their 67-58 win over Texas Tech, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Fans in the student section salute the Jayhawks' 12th-straight Big 12 title following their 67-58 win over Texas Tech, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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During the past couple of weeks, the college basketball crew at ESPN.com asked America to determine the most difficult venue in college basketball by voting in a series of online polls.

First, they broke it down by conference, seeking initially to identify the toughest arena in each of the top 10 conferences.

To no one’s surprise, Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse ran away with the Big 12 crown, earning 50 percent of the vote, the highest percentage of any of the winners.

Now it’s on to the next round, where ESPN is asking the nation to decide which of those 10 arenas is the toughest.

The 10 winners by conference were: Allen Fieldhouse (Big 12), Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium (ACC), Indiana’s Assembly Hall (Big Ten), New Mexico’s WisePies Arena (Mountain West), St. Bonaventure’s Reilly Center (Atlantic 10), Arizona’s McKale Center (Pac-12), Kentucky’s Rupp Arena (SEC), UCOnn’s Harry A. Gampel Pavilion (AAC), Villanova’s Pavilion (Big East) and BYU’s Marriott Center (WCC).

Through 4 p.m. Monday, Allen Fieldhouse led in total votes (2,750) and was tied at the top with Cameron Indoor Stadium at 21 percent. Rupp Arena (2,387, 19 percent) and Assembly Hall (2,166, 17) rounded out the top four. None of the other six venues had reached the four-digit mark.

No timeline was given for the poll, which is currently live on ESPN’s college basketball page.

Tip set for KU-UK

The second leg of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge that will pit blueblood powerhouses Kansas and Kentucky against each other for the second consecutive season officially has a time and a network.

Kansas, which knocked off Kentucky in overtime at Allen Fieldhouse in the challenge last season, will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, for a 5 p.m. tipoff, Jan. 28 in the Wildcats’ home gym. The game will be televised by ESPN.

Other match-ups in this year’s SEC-Big 12 challenge include: West Virginia vs. Texas A&M;, Oklahoma vs. Florida, Kansas State vs. Tennessee, Texas Tech vs. LSU, Iowa State at Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State vs. Arkansas, Baylor at Mississippi and TCU vs. Auburn.

The Big 12 owns a 20-10 advantage in the head-to-head challenge with the SEC and has won the showdown in each of the first three years.

Comments

Dirk Medema 3 years, 9 months ago

Mizzoo, MSU, USC, 'Bama are the SEC non-participants. So we're 2-1 winners, and they sit out their worst teams, or has 'Bama become respectable in BB? You'd think they'd have some $ to throw that way.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 9 months ago

Missouri is the only garbage team sitting out. The ither 3 were mid pack I believe. SoCar was one of the last 4 out last year I think.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 9 months ago

Did they do an additional write-up on AFH? The Big12 specific question was so obvious they almost brushed it aside. Sort of like the second half of our FB games against BU or a few of the others when the announcers start talking about the weather, their favorite sitcom, or something else completely unrelated.

Mick Allen 3 years, 9 months ago

In my opinion only one vote should be counted in determining the toughest home court in college basketball. That would be the vote of Jay Bilas who repeatedly has characterized Allen Fieldhouse as the best venue in all of college basketball and the greatest home court advantage. His vote would be both objective and the most informed vote cast.

Drew Jarrett 3 years, 9 months ago

Been to both AFH and Cameron. Granted the game at Duke (2015 Championship team) was a non-conference game and a match up between highly-ranked Duke and Carolina teams would undoubtedly rival any venue in America, but the overall atmosphere between the two is incomparable. I've been to dozens of KU home non-con games and it still gets electric when the team gets on a roll. It's hard to tell on TV just how small their gym is, too. I tried with the panoramic picture that I took from our seats below. The skinny hallways in Cameron makes it seem as if you are in a crowded school building during a class change and the concession lines stretch the width of the corridors. The students are loud and I like the concept of having them along the baselines and running the length of the floor, but it's nothing compared to the excitement that you get night in and night out in Allen. If you're ever on Tobacco Road I would recommend attempting to get a ticket to a Duke game (good luck) or even a game at the Dean Dome, but I promise you will leave there happy that you are a KU fan and get to experience truly the greatest home court advantage there is in Lawrence.

Cameron Indoor Stadium – 11/04/14

Cameron Indoor Stadium – 11/04/14 by Drew Jarrett

Harlan Hobbs 3 years, 9 months ago

Agreed, Mick. He certainly didn't vote like a "homer".

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