Rivalries are a great thing. Even when the playing field doesn’t appear to be level, for one game and maybe only one game, teams can overachieve and make what would otherwise be a forgettable season a memorable one.
The factor that most influences the rivalry is geography, followed closely by football, which has rivalries that predate any that basketball can claim.
In fact, many of the nicknames used by gridiron counterparts have been, uh, “borrowed” to now include basketball matchups between the schools. Whatever—they’re still fun to watch.
While the ebb and flow of importance changes for the casual fan, students and alumni wait each year for another opportunity to beat a hated foe.
Here is a list of some of the more interesting and longstanding rivalries in college basketball. I’m sure there are many, many more and ones I’ve neglected, so feel free to vent.