Top 5 college basketball rivalries
Hate is a strong word, but when it comes to college basketball, it’s just part of the scenery.
And while there are plenty of schools that really don’t like each other, there are a few that stand out above the rest.
With that here are the most intense rivalries in college hoops in the order we see them. If you are betting on college basketball then use our up to the second sports options betting odds to get that extra edge with legend Jon Price’s expert sports betting picks.
5. Purdue vs. Indiana — It’s no secret that basketball is a religious experience in the state of Indiana, and fans have no choice but to grow up a Hoosier or a Boilermaker. Every since the Bobby Knight vs. Gene Keady era, this rivalry has grown into something to be taken very seriously.
The two coaches did battle for 41 games with 28 of these being decided by 10 points or less. And although that intensity has simmered since Knight’s famous chair throwing episode, this yearly battle on the court continues.
4. Utah vs. BYU — The state of Utah loves its basketball. But with only 30 miles separating these two schools, they are definitely not friendly neighbors and there is no love between them. And although the rivalry reached an all-time high in the late 1990’s, fans still seem to find themselves locked in an annual “Holy War” with each other. The Cougars have 28 conference titles versus the Utes’ 38, but that only helps to add more fuel to this college rivalry’s fire.
3. Arizona vs. UCLA— Although this rivalry has only reached its current intensity over the past 20 years, fans can be sure that it is here to stay, as the Wildcats have become a major contender in the PAC-12 and a nuisance to a storied UCLA Bruin’s basketball program. Since the late 90’s these two powerhouses have combined for two national championships and seven Final Four appearances, while ranking among the top schools to produce NBA players.
2. Kentucky vs. Louisville — The Bluegrass state of Kentucky breeds basketball players, and this in-state rivalry is one of the biggest sporting events in the entire state every year. Bedecked and festooned in Wildcat blue or Cardinals red, devoted fans jam the arena to support their teams, singing raucous chants that echo from the floor to the rafters. To add fuel to this already burning fire, head coach Rick Pitino, who coached the Wildcats to a national title in 1997, became the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals in 2002. “Traitor Rick” as he is called in Lexington, also led the Cardinals to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, making this rivalry even more intense.
1. North Carolina vs. Duke — Not only the biggest rivalry in college basketball, but perhaps in all college sports Year after year these two schools are always among the elite programs in the country , consistently ranking somewhere in the top 10, in both the coach’s and media polls. During the past 25 years, the two schools have combined for 18 Final Four appearances and six National Championships. With that kind of talent and history, there is always a lot of bragging rights at stake, and with only six miles separating the two campuses, there is a lot of bad blood here.
Tune into ESPN, CBS Sports, or ABC to watch your favorite rivalry.