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: Cameron Indoor Stadium
School Name: Duke University
Location: Durham, North Carolina
When you think of Duke basketball, it is tough to not, automatically think of Cameron Indoor and the Cameron Crazies. The history and tradition of not only its program, but its venue, is one in its own and Cameron Indoor is No. 1 on this countdown.
Designed by the same architectural firm that helped in the construction of the Palestra, Cameron Indoor Stadium opened in 1940 and until 1972 was known as Duke Indoor Stadium. Dedicated to former head coach Eddie Cameron who aided in the plans for the facility, Cameron Indoor is what it is most famously known as today.
Once one of the nation’s larger basketball venues when it was originally built, Cameron is now known for being a smaller facility, holding just over 9,000 fans. However, the crowded feel only adds to the impact Cameron Indoor has as a tough place to play.
The atmosphere caused by its fans and student section are the main attractions at Cameron Indoor Stadium. As everybody knows, the student section is known as the Cameron Crazies, and for each home game they continue to offer the Blue Devils an atmosphere that players can only dream of playing in. As intimidating as it may be for visiting teams, Duke players love the atmosphere at home and the advantage they have is incredible.
Earning the reputation as one of the nation’s “rowdiest, wittiest, and best organized group of college basketball fans,” the Cameron Crazies are literally right next to you every game. From their blue and white striped shirts to the blue wigs and face paint, the Crazies do almost everything to solidify the reputation they have built in the past. They are known for packing almost 1,600 students into a section designed for a maximum of 1,100.
With a concept of “the more, the merrier,” Cameron Indoor has been previously scaled at being as loud as jet engines before takeoff.
Ask any opponent who travels to Durham, and they will tell you how crazy the fans are. Smaller schools that travel to Duke during non-conference teams are viewed as virtually having no chance in competing in an atmosphere like Cameron. For bigger games during the year, more talented teams can offer Duke better matchups, but the in-your-face type of excitement can deliver intimidation to anybody. Referred to as the “toughest road game in the nation” by USA Today, the expectations that surround Duke basketball each year have built up one of the nation’s most prestigious programs.
An improving St. John’s team will pay a visit to Cameron Indoor this season, along with the Quakers of Penn during non-conference play. However, annual visits from ACC rivals will renew the excitement in Cameron as it does every season.
Wake Forest, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Maryland, among others, will all make a stop in Durham this season. Not to mention, the annual rivalry with UNC will serve as the season finale on March 6th at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke should be strong again this season and have another good opportunity to take the ACC title. Ranking fourth among the world’s top-20 sporting venues by Sports Illustrated, Cameron Indoor Stadium has earned quite the reputation.
Coach K will have Duke ready to go again this season, and each year as basketball season gets closer, the Cameron Crazies prepare to give Duke the ultimate home court advantage.
The past has proven why Duke is discussed as the nation’s toughest place to play and by no means do the Blue Devils intend to give that up.