Ranking all 68 of the 2022 men's NCAA tournament teams by arena

There really isn’t any sport quite like college basketball. In Division I alone, there are 358 teams competing for 68 spots in a single-elimination tournament. I mean, it doesn’t get better than that.

And with 358 schools, there are 358 different venues — all with their own unique atmospheres and stories. Some venues are elite and rich in tradition. Others could hardly pass off as a high school gym.

But that’s the beauty of the NCAA tournament: Every game is played on a neutral court.

Still, that doesn’t have to stop us from taking a look at the best venues among the 68 teams in the men’s NCAA tournament field. This was how we ranked them.

68. Memphis – FedExForum

It’s an NBA arena, it should be higher up the list. But the court is blue. Nobody wants to see that. WHY IS IT BLUE?

67. Georgia State - GSU Sports Arena

Just a depressingly bad venue for a team that’s had one of the great NCAA tournament moments in recent years.

66. Alabama - Coleman Coliseum

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

A team with Alabama’s resources really should not be playing in a 60-year-old arena with little improvement over the years. Thankfully, plans are already in place to build a new home for the Crimson Tide.

65. Texas Southern - Health & Physical Education Arena

I knew the arena was going to be trouble off that name alone.

64. Baylor - Ferrell Center

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a miserable place to watch basketball, but Baylor is already working on a brand-new arena. So expect the Bears to rise considerably on this list in the future.

63. Saint Peter’s - Yanitelli Recreational Life Center

It’s a high school gym lol.

62. Longwood - Willett Hall

61. Colgate - Reid Athletic Center

The school hopes to renovate it soon, so there’s that.

60. Bryant - Chace Athletic Center

59. Jacksonville State - Pete Mathews Coliseum

58. San Francisco - War Memorial Gym

57. Texas - Erwin Events Center

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texas can’t replace this arena fast enough.

56. Cal State Fullerton – Titan Gym

55. LSU - Pete Maravich Assembly Center

Wild that a team like LSU plays in such an outdated venue.

54. Vermont - Patrick Gym

Fun fact for Bill Walton:

53. Chattanooga - McKenzie Arena

52. Montana State - Brick Breeden Fieldhouse

51. UAB - Bartow Arena

50. Norfolk State - Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall

49. New Mexico State - Pan American Center

Hmmm, yeah, The Pit is way better.

48. Akron - James A. Rhodes Arena

47. Wyoming - Arena-Auditorium

46. Wright State - Nutter Center

Photo by Sam Greene/USA TODAY Network

45. South Dakota State - Frost Arena

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

44. Murray State - CFSB Center

The fact that Ja Morant played there makes it infinitely cooler, though.

43. Colorado State - Moby Arena

Incredibly outdated, but I sort of like the exterior for some reason.

42. Boise State - ExtraMile Arena

It has some of the worst sight lines for TV. Thankfully, it is not hosting tournament games this year.

41. Providence - Dunkin' Donuts Center



40. Miami - Watsco Center

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fine, but lacks character for a school from Miami.

39. Davidson - John M. Belk Arena

38. Virginia Tech - Cassell Coliseum

Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

37. UConn – XL Center

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn splits time between Gampel Pavilion and the XL Center, which is a bummer. Gampel games are always fun.

36. Iowa - Carver-Hawkeye Arena

35. Loyola Chicago - Joseph J. Gentile Arena

Name it the Sister Jean Arena, in my opinion.

34. Delaware - Bob Carpenter Center

Delaware News Journal

33. Richmond - Robins Center

32. Notre Dame - Purcell Pavilion

31. Ohio State - Value City Arena

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

30. Seton Hall - Prudential Center

It’s a decently nice arena, but again, it feels like it’s too big of a venue for Seton Hall basketball.

29. Michigan – Crisler Center

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

28. Creighton - CHI Health Center

27. Wisconsin - Kohl Center

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

26. San Diego State – Viejas Arena

Viejas could definitely use some updating, but the atmosphere is among college basketball’s best.

25. USC - Galen Center

It’s relatively new, and I like new things.

24. Yale - Payne Whitney Gymnasium

It’s nowhere near The Palestra’s level of basketball heritage, but Ivy League venues are awesome. Must be all the smart people.

23. Rutgers - Jersey Mike’s Arena

Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers fans absolutely love to tell anyone who will listen about how great the RAC is.

22. Marquette - Fiserv Forum

It’s a great NBA venue and a brand-new arena. It just loses some of its juice with Marquette unable to fill all of it.

21. Houston - Fertitta Center

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The newly renovated arena gives off some New Mexico Pit vibes with a modern twist. I like it.

20. Texas A&M Corpus Christi – American Bank Center

They might be the last team in the tournament, but the arena is fairly new, fits 10,000 fans and I’m digging the green rafters. I couldn’t find a photo we could use, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

19. Tennessee - Thompson-Boling Arena

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

It’s ridiculously large for a college basketball venue, which is great for big games – but not so great early on in the non-conference season.

18. Iowa State – Hilton Coliseum

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cyclones are competing near the top of the Big 12, there aren’t many tougher places to play.

17. North Carolina – Dean Smith Center

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The program’s history is undeniable, but North Carolina deserves a new arena.

16. Saint Mary’s - University Credit Union Pavilion

You can find some high school venues that are larger, which makes it so awesome for big games.

15. Illinois - State Farm Center

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It would be so much louder if the dome wasn’t like a thousand feet above the stands.

14. TCU - Schollmaier Arena

The school has put nearly $100 million into the arena since joining the Big 12.

13. Texas Tech - United Supermarkets Arena

Fans have flocked to be a part of the Red Raiders’ resurgence. Don’t let the venue’s awful name fool you – it’s solid.

12. Arkansas – Bud Walton Arena

It’s an NBA-sized arena that can get so loud for big games.

11. Arizona – McKale Center

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

It recently underwent an $80 million renovation, and I’m a sucker for stage lighting in arenas.

10. Michigan State – Breslin Center

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Always among the toughest places to play in the Big Ten, and I love how the student section gets the best seats.

9. Auburn - Neville Arena

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the newest arena out of the tournament field (opened in 2010), and has quickly attracted one of the loudest crowds in the SEC.

8. UCLA – Pauley Pavilion

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The $136 million renovation was much needed to modernize this legendary arena.

7. Gonzaga - McCarthey Athletic Center

It’s pretty awesome that a perennial title contender plays in a 6,000-seat venue.

6. Purdue – Mackey Arena

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Mackey Arena is so underrated with one of the best student sections in college basketball.

5. Villanova - Finneran Pavilion

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Wildcats didn’t even play 10 games there this year, and it’s still a top 5 venue. That’s how good it is.

4. Kentucky – Rupp Arena

The arena isn’t much on the outside in terms of character, but the game experience more than makes up for it.

3. Indiana – Assembly Hall

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana hasn’t been a title contender for almost a decade, but Assembly Hall remains an epic college basketball venue.

2. Duke – Cameron Indoor Stadium

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to Allen Fieldhouse on atmosphere, but just lags a bit behind on history.

1. Kansas – Allen Fieldhouse

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Between the history and atmosphere, nothing beats the Allen Fieldhouse experience.

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