Kohl Center, Wisconsin: The cleverly named "Grateful Red" student section is one of the most ravenous and devoted in college basketball, helping build the 17,206-seat home of the Badgers into the toughest of Big Ten arenas.An 87.5 home winning percentage is as intimidating a statistic as any hot shooter's scoring average.Indiana's Assembly Hall remains, in the words of broadcaster Gus Johnson, "the Carnegie Hall of basketball" despite Tom Crean's 27-27 record there in Big Ten games.Its legend is built on the sound of 17,000-plus people losing their lungs, with one Big Ten coach saying: "Their 80-year-olds are like students.""I like arenas that are loud and crazy," Michigan coach John Beilein said.Think of it like the scene from "Sideways" when Maya speaks of her love of What makes a great college arena isn't the number of chair-back seats or food options or HD video boards (although that helps).
And, no, we're not talking about adding a Dippin' Dots station."You can have a nice facility, but what you really want are rabid, hard-nosed fans close to the court."Purdue modernized Mackey Arena in 2007, adding 36 concession areas and nearly tripling the width of the concourses.All that's great, but the place was never better than in the '80s and '90s, when more than 14,000 packed the joint to see Gene Keady's comb-over.The conference has led the nation in attendance for 38consecutive years, while setting a league record last season with an average of 13,534 fans per game, including the Big Ten tournament."Most of them, if not all of them, are sold out," Illinois coach John Groce said. Basketball is a religion in Indiana, and this is where 17,472 come to congregate.
There's minimal seating behind the baskets, but the rows of seats between the end lines seem to go to the moon.2.The arena has witnessed merely 33 Wisconsin losses.