Top 10 Most Underrated College Basketball Arenas

With so many iconic venues in college basketball, such as Allen Fieldhouse, Cameron Indoor, and Assembly Hall, it's easy to overlook some other great arenas. These arenas, at their best, are arguably just as impressive as the more well-known venues.

These lesser-known venues are the hidden gems of college basketball. They also provide a special place to watch the games.
The Top Ten
1 Carrier Dome (Syracuse)

The Carrier Dome is the only stadium that hosts both college football and basketball. Syracuse calls it home for both sports, with a capacity of around 50,000 for football and an impressive 35,000 for basketball, respectively. It's the largest college basketball venue in the country, and it's not even close, with more than 11,000 seats separating it from the second-largest arena. Granted, when Syracuse is struggling, there may be some bare spots, but when they were good under Jim Boeheim, the Carrier Dome was rocking. The Orange faithful know how to show up and have been known to have one of the best home environments in college basketball.

2 Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (Utah State)

When talking about home court advantages, you might be surprised to see Utah State and the Aggies in the conversation. Utah State's home arena, the Smith Spectrum, has been a rowdy place since its inception in the 1970-71 season. They boast a record of 621-147 at home. The arena sits approximately 10,200 and it's all on one level, meaning even the furthest rows aren't too far from the action. The Aggies had a 37 game winning streak at home from 2007-09, and at the time, it was one of the longest in college basketball. Also, the "Winning Team, Losing Team" chant deserves a shoutout. It's one of the best and most iconic chants in college basketball, and Utah State students are some of the loudest in the country.

3 The Palestra (Penn)

The Palestra is one of the most historic buildings in college basketball, dubbed as the "most storied gymnasium in the history of collegiate athletics." It has hosted the most college basketball games of any building since its inception in 1927. The Palestra seats approximately 8,700 and has an intimate and historic feeling that very few places can match. It was one of the first steel-and-concrete arenas in the United States and also one of the first to be constructed without interior pillars blocking the view. The Palestra is like taking a step backward in time when the game was a lot simpler.

4 Gallagher-Iba Arena (Oklahoma State)

Gallagher Iba Arena has been the home of the Oklahoma State Cowboys since 1938. Named after two of the greatest coaches: legendary basketball coach Henry Iba and legendary wrestling coach Hank Gallagher, it is one of the most unique venues structurally. Back in its heyday, it was undoubtedly a top 20 arena in college basketball, and OSU had one of the premier venues in the Big 12 conference. The Cowboys were always a tough out in Stillwater. It earned the nickname "The Madison Square Garden of the Plains." Recently, however, it's fallen off due to the lack of a winning basketball culture.

5 Bud Walton Arena (Arkansas)

Bud Walton Arena, named after the co-founder of Walmart, has always been one of the top basketball venues in the SEC ever since its opening. With a capacity of over 19,300 seats, it's definitely on the larger side of the spectrum. Back in the Nolan Richardson days, Bud Walton was rocking and a tough place for anybody not named Arkansas to play. Since 1993, when it opened, the Razorbacks have a 332-74 record at home. Thanks to Eric Musselman, Arkansas is back, and Bud Walton Arena is rocking again.

6 Charles Koch Arena (Wichita State)

Charles Koch Arena, sometimes called the Roundhouse, was always a notoriously difficult place to play for opponents, especially during the early 2010s when Wichita State was one of the more prominent teams in college basketball. They were nearly impossible to knock off at home. Fans constantly pack the Roundhouse to the brim with over 10,000 fans and create quite a rowdy atmosphere. The students don't have a ton of sections dedicated to them, but this is a place where the older crowd can and will get very loud and rowdy. Even if the program has fallen back into irrelevance, they're still a passionate fanbase that makes a decent home crowd.

7 UD Arena (Dayton)

University of Dayton Arena, or UD Arena for short, is the home of the Dayton Flyers. It may not be the most flashy arena, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get loud. It's a great venue overall and is significant in college basketball as it's hosted the most NCAA Tournament games, at over 125! Usually, it's the site for the First Four Play-In Games. It can draw a decent crowd for those games. However, it's on a completely different level when Dayton plays there. The Dayton faithful know how to show up and bring the energy. This isn't a run-of-the-mill mid-major venue.

8 Pinnacle Bank Arena (Nebraska)
9 WVU Coliseum (West Virginia)

The home crowd for the Mountaineers is one of the most devoted of any fanbase in the country. As any opponent can tell you, the trip to Morgantown, West Virginia is never a fun one, especially since it's a long trip for most of the other Big 12 teams.

Mountaineer fans are notoriously rowdy, especially the student section known as the "Mountaineer Maniacs," who are usually very prominent and will make life difficult for any visiting team. When the Mountaineers are good, they are an extremely tough team to beat on their home floor, especially during their "Press Virginia" days. This is one of those venues where records do not matter at all. Whenever you play West Virginia, you know it's going to be a tough game.

10 Foster Pavillion (Baylor)
The Contenders
11 Memorial Gymnasium (Vanderbilt)

Vanderbilt might not be the best team in college basketball, but the Commodores have arguably the most unique arena. Memorial Gym has team benches on the baseline facing each other, as opposed to on the sideline at every other gym. It also features an expanded court area as well. Visiting teams will likely agree that Memorial Gym can be more intimidating than it appears, especially when it's at full capacity. The uniqueness of the facility does a good job of containing the crowd noise.

12 The Pit (New Mexico)

Dreamstyle Arena, more commonly known as "The Pit," is the home of the New Mexico Lobos and has a very unique design. The atmosphere is almost always rocking, averaging around 15,400 fans in attendance. It has earned its reputation amongst the elite home court atmospheres in college basketball.

What makes The Pit so unique is the fact that the playing surface is actually 37 feet below street level, yet it sits nearly 5,100 feet above sea level. The crowds at The Pit can get pretty loud too, reaching up to 125 decibels. It's also a historic place in college basketball history, hosting the 1983 National Championship game where N.C. State famously upset the Houston Cougars in what is still considered one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history. After that game, Coach Jim Valvano was seen running frantically looking for someone to hug.

13 Viejas Arena (San Diego State)
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