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The Arena Pulse: No.20 Thompson-Boling Arena (Tennessee)

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 15:  Head coach Bruce Pearl of the Tennessee Volunteers yells to his players during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the Championship game of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 15, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Paul SeaverCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2009

It’s never easy to go on the road in college basketball. This is a top 25 breakdown of some of the toughest and most intimidating venues in college basketball.

 

 

Venue: Thompson-Boling Arena

 

School Name: Tennessee

 

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

 

Capacity: 21,000

 

There has been a revelation of sorts for the Tennessee men’s basketball program over the past few seasons. After a four-year NCAA Tournament drought from 2002-2005, head coach Bruce Pearl has brought true excitement back into the orange and white that lines Thompson-Boling Arena.

 

Since its opening in 1987, Thompson-Boling Arena has been the home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams. As one of the bigger facilities in the nation, it can hold around 21,000 fans on any given night.

 

With Bruce Pearl at the helm for the Tennessee Volunteers, the program has turned a corner and excitement for the program has skyrocketed. From painting his chest and joining the student section for a women’s home game to wearing an all-orange suit during games, head coach Pearl has brought that passion back into Tennessee fans.

 

With a current streak of four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, Tennessee fans are once again excited for another year of college hoops. With the improvement of the SEC Conference heading into this season, the Volunteers still boast what should be a Top 25 team heading into the season.

 

After a couple of bumps in the road last year, the Volunteers return veterans Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism, along with emerging sophomore Scotty Hopson. Tennessee will have its usual number of home games against SEC opponents later in the year, but what might prove to be the biggest test of the season is when the Jayhawks of Kansas pay their visit to Thompson-Boling.

 

Thompson-Boling Arena can be noted for its white-and-orange checkerboard outline along the baselines of the court, but the orange and white shirts that fill all 21,000 seats offer an even bigger sight to see. The passion that has returned to the Tennessee program continues to be at an all-time high—and this season will be no different. With a fifth NCAA Tournament trip on their mind, Tennessee fans are more than excited to welcome any opponent that comes into Knoxville.  

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