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: Allen Fieldhouse
School Name: Kansas University
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
It’s not even tip yet and you got Jayhawk students and fans making noise already. Welcome to Lawrence, Kansas.
Following the national anthem, it is tradition for Jayhawk fans to sing the Alma Mata and conclude it with the “Rock Chalk Chant.” Going on the road at one of college basketball’s most historic programs is tough in its own right. However, add more than 16,000 Kansas students and fans singing and screaming at you, well, you got yourself quite the intimidating venue.
Opened in 1955, Allen Fieldhouse was dedicated to one of college basketball’s greatest coaches of all-time, the late Dr. Forrest “Phog” Allen. Dr. James Naismith, the man credited with the creation of the game of basketball, was the first coach at Kansas University in the early 1900s. With a winning tradition instilled for over 100 years, KU boasts one of college basketball’s most prestigious programs.
From National Championship banners to retired jerseys, the rafters present the tradition and success that make up the history of Kansas basketball. From the likes of Wilt Chamberlain to Jo Jo White to Paul Pierce, their jerseys are enshrined in Allen Fieldhouse.
Sitting right above its National Championship banners, another banner sits and simply states: “Pay Heed, All Who Enter: Beware of the Phog.” Serving as an intimidation factor to visiting teams, Jayhawk fans are quick to warn of the atmosphere that is provided inside Allen Fieldhouse. Winning comes with that and the Jayhawks are proud to have a winning percentage of just fewer than 86 percent at home.
If the past isn’t enough for Kansas fans to be excited about its college basketball, they prepare for a 2009-10 season in which they may be the team to beat. Coming off their National Championship in 2008, the Jayhawks will enter the season looking for their second national title in three years.
For Kansas, some of their key non-conference games will be on the road, including games at Tennessee, UCLA, and Temple. Their 2009-10 campaign also features a neutral court matchup against Memphis, which will feature Kansas freshman Xavier Henry going up against the school he had once been committed to.
As for Allen Fieldhouse, you can be assured it will see plenty of excitement this season. With visits from Michigan and Cornell, as well as an anticipated non-conference matchup against Cal, “The Phog” will be buzzing early. Visits from Big 12 rivals Missouri, Baylor, Kansas State, and Oklahoma highlight what should be an exciting home conference schedule.
History, tradition, and success are three words that define the Kansas basketball program. On the other hand, Jayhawk fans are known for being rowdy and intimidating, providing a nightmare experience for visiting teams. The combination of the two brings out the best in Lawrence, Kansas each year and with only a few weeks until the beginning of the season, Allen Fieldhouse is preparing itself once again.