Usually, hate is too strong a word. Your in-laws? Rude? Maybe. Weird? Probably. Annoying? Undeniably. But do you truly hate them?
For the vast majority of us, the answer is probably no. It is just easier to say we hate something rather than expand in detail about what we dislike about them.
From vegetables to bosses to backseat drivers and know-it-alls, America uses "hate" frivolously to describe any aspect of life that doesn't measure up to our standards and desires. But "hate" is usually unwarranted and inaccurate in describing our true feelings. Except when it comes to basketball.
When it comes to college basketball's elite programs, "hate" may not be harsh enough. Sure, we all have a team that we cheer for and love. But even more importantly we have a team that we loathe and despise. A team we have an unequivocal, unrelenting detestation for and aren't afraid to hate on them.
You know the feeling. You will stay up way past your bedtime, if the team you hate is playing in a tight one, just because of the slight chance to see them be defeated. You scoff at sleep just for the chance to revel in a team's misfortune.
You seriously contemplate choosing a No. 16 over a No. 1 because the No. 1 is your nemesis. Who cares if your bracket is busted before the tournament ever begins? Simply writing that name down is pure agony; like you are vindicating all that is evil in the world and committing treason at the same time.
But why? What makes us so passionate about hating America's elite programs? The science of why we despise the best teams is by no means exact, but there are several common factors that feed the creature that is hate in college basketball.
So what is the true anatomy of hate? The following is an attempt to evaluate and give examples of what teams are hated the most and why. There is no particular order to the teams or reasons discussed; that is another debate all together.