The Sporting News selected Cincinnati as the best college hoops town.
Sure, Cincinnati does have two pretty good programs there. The University of Cincinnati is annually a tournament team and has dominated the Conference USA since it’s inception. Xavier has also dominated its conference, is a constant in the tournament, and made an Elite 8 run last year.
But, neither school plays in a high profile conference yet. Next year, Cincinnati joins the Big East…which boasts the past two National Champions Syracuse and Connecticut. They also have solid programs at Seton Hall, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Pitt and Providence. Xavier plays in a better-than-average conference in the Atlantic 10. But, this isn’t the ACC, Big XII, SEC or Big Ten.
I’d put the #1 spot as the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill. NC State, Duke and North Carolina. In those three schools….you have 8 National Championships [Cincy area 2] and 32 Final Fours [Cincy area 6]. That area boasts 2 of the top 4 programs with the most wins. In fact, you could throw Wake Forest into the mix too…since they are in close proximity. Wake, Carolina and Duke will be in the Top 10 to start the season….most likely holding down the #1 and #2 spots. And, if I wanted to be strict about it….it does says “college sports town”. So that must include the women’s teams too. Well, UNC has a National Title and is ranked every year. Duke is a perennial power. NC State has Kate Yow, one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history.
Two interesting comments the Sporting News made was (a) the Cincinnati-Xavier rivalry and (b) the 97% attendance rate for their games. Uh….what college rivalry is better that North Carolina vs. Duke?? During ESPN’s “Rivalry Week”….this is THE most hyped and THE most watched. No disrespect to the Crosstown Shootout….but Carolina/Duke is the best rivalry in college hoops. Also, the 97% capacity. I don’t see many empty seats in the Dean Dome or Cameron Indoor. In fact, is their ANY college atmosphere that can remotely compare to Dook’s Cameron Crazies???
I’d even throw Philadelphia in there. Sure, the city isn’t as relevant to the elitism of college hoops right now….but the Big Five games do draw major city interest and fierce competition. Drexel, La Salle, Penn, St. Joseph’s, Temple….and nearby Villanova make up an intriguing mix. The DC area isn’t bad either with Maryland, Georgetown and George Washington.
Again, no offense….but I think TSN just did this to grab a little attention. Well, I guess it worked.