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  • 20 March 2019
    导出博客文章Over a two-week span, were answering the following question for college
    basketballs 10 best conferences: Which venue in each conference is the toughest
    place to play? A number of factors, not just capacity and attendance, could
    affect a venues place in the order. Where does your school fall??Oh, sure, the
    2015-16 season may have extended the Big Tens national title drought to the
    better part of two decades, but it also extended a much less ignominious, and
    borderline mind-blowing streak: it was the 40th straight year the league led the
    nation in attendance.If a difficult venue is a full venue, the Big Ten has more
    of both than most. Not that there arent exceptions ...14. Penn State Nittany
    Lions: Bryce Jordan Center, opened in 1995Speaking of exceptions, heres one that
    proves the rule. The Bryce Jordan Center is a perfectly nice and relatively new
    arena that few people actually ever enter, at least for Penn State basketball
    games. In a gym that seats 15,000, the Nittany Lions averaged just 6,909 per
    game last season. They have a dark gym, Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell said in
    March. And its a little quiet.Fun fact: In 2011, the Nittany Lions were barred
    from practicing in their own gym for two straight weeks by famous rock
    artists/time lords Bon Jovi (Week 1) and a career fair (Week 2). Ouch.13.
    Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Rutgers Athletic Center, opened in 1977 Basketball is
    an intimate sport, which is why a smallish arena can be its perfect setting.
    (See: Indoor Stadium, Cameron.) In the past, Rutgers home gym, also known as the
    RAC, was exactly that. In this world, the Scarlet Knights have won three (!) Big
    Ten games in the past two seasons. They all came at the RAC.Fun fact: One of
    those three wins came against back-to-back Final Four participant Wisconsin.
    (Frank Kaminsky was hurt, but still.)12. Northwestern Wildcats: Welsh-Ryan
    Arena, opened in 1952 Welsh-Ryan is small, most of the seats are bleachers and,
    given Chicagos crush of Big Ten alumni, most league games are split more or less
    50-50 between home and visiting fans. Its easy, and fun, to pretend youre at a
    really well-played high school game. None of which makes it a difficult place to
    play.Fun fact: Northwestern hosted the first-ever NCAA tournament in 1939, in
    the old Patten Gymnasium. McGaw Memorial Hall -- which technically houses
    Welsh-Ryan Arena, plus some other stuff -- hosted the Final Four in 1956.11.
    Nebraska Cornhuskers: Pinnacle Bank Arena, opened in 2013 Is this a tough place
    to play? Its too early to say. Pinnacle is basically brand new, and its first
    season (2013-14) was a rousing success. Nebraska went 19-13, lost just once at
    home and made the NCAA tournament for the first time in forever. The Cornhuskers
    have regressed in the two seasons since, though, which has made it hard to
    appraise, tough-venue-wise.Fun fact: Pinnacle suite-goers can enjoy 10 sushi
    rolls, 12 pieces of nigiri and 12 pieces of sashimi for $204. And why not?
    Nebraska is famous for its sushi, right?10. Ohio State Buckeyes: Value City
    Arena, opened in 1998 Argument in favor: Ohio State has had its best, most
    sustained period of basketball success since it moved to Value City Arena in
    1998.Argument against: Coach Thad Matta could probably win basketball games in a
    derelict Eastern European airplane hangar.Argument in favor: In 2010-11, in a
    move rare among major college programs, and in the hopes of boosting atmosphere,
    OSU actually listened to its fans and relocated student seats behind team
    benches.Argument against: Its official title is Value City Arena at The Jerome
    Schottenstein Center.Fun fact: OSU designed its current home with an eye toward
    preempting Columbus own pro-arena ambitions ... which is how a program that
    averaged fewer than 13,000 fans per game last season (which is a lot!) wound up
    in a 19,000-seat gym.9. Iowa Hawkeyes: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, opened in
    1983Carver-Hawkeye has high highs and low lows. When the Hawks are rolling and a
    big opponent is in town, its one of the toughest buildings anywhere. Any other
    time -- or, say, in an early-Saturday-afternoon start, when an already-small
    student section has been decimated by whatever its members did at The Summit 12
    hours earlier -- it can be downright dreary.Fun fact: Carvers most unique
    feature is that it resides almost entirely underground, in a concrete bowl
    carved (sorry) out of the side of a hill, which earned its designers the
    prestigious American Institute of Architects Honors Award in 1984.8. Minnesota
    Golden Gophers: Williams Arena, opened in 1928 The only reason Williams Arena
    isnt higher (er, lower) on this list is because it wasnt difficult to play
    Richard Pitinos team anywhere in 2015-16. Despite that 8-23 (2-16 Big Ten)
    disaster, though, The Barn hosted an average of 11,000 Gopher die-hards per
    game; their raucous dedication was rewarded with a cathartic Feb. 18 upset of
    Maryland. It helps that The Barn is one of the nations most historic sports
    venues, one so well-designed that it remains as fashionable now as at any point
    in the past 90 years.Fun fact: The Minnesota Field House was built in 1928, the
    same year as Butlers famed Hinkle Fieldhouse. From 1928 until 1950, Hinkle was
    the biggest college hoops arena in the country; after a 1950 renovation (and a
    name change), Williams Arena became the largest -- a title it held until 1971.
    Good run.7. Illinois Fighting Illini: State Farm Center, opened in 1963 During
    the brief Bill Self era, and well into Bruce Webers (initially) successful
    tenure, State Farm Center Assembly Hall (it was renamed in 2013) was one of the
    most imposing buildings in college basketball. Illinois student section, the
    Orange Krush, can be as genuinely funny as any in the country, though the
    on-court inspiration has been lacking of late.Fun fact: It looks like?a
    repurposed vessel from a faraway alien planet.6. Michigan Wolverines: Crisler
    Center, opened in 1967In 2007, for example, a first-time visitor to Ann Arbor,
    en route to Crisler, could drive by Michigan Stadium in all its glory only to
    find the basketball arena a drastic comparative letdown. Those days are over.
    Not only are the John Beilein-era Wolverines better, and the attendance and
    enthusiasm much higher than in the years preceding him, but a recent renovation
    has made the building one of the Big Tens more impressive fixtures. Putting
    students so close to the floor is a plus.Fun fact: Its referred to as The House
    that Cazzie Built, in honor of Cazzie Russell, a two-time All-American and the
    No. 1 pick in the 1966 NBA draft. Russell is the first (and only) Wolverine to
    have his number retired to the Crisler rafters. Other honored jerseys include
    legendary NBA coach Rudy Tomjanovich and former All-Star Glen Rice.5. Maryland
    Terrapins: Xfinity Center, opened in 2002 First of all, the Xfinity Center does
    not seem 14 years old. By the time you hit the parking lot, the idea that the
    building opened the same year Gary Williams led Juan Dixon and Co. to a national
    title seems factually impossible. Yet its true. Also true: Terps fans are every
    bit as crazy in this building as they were in the beloved old Cole Field House,
    a characteristic accentuated by the students courtside omnipresence. Granted,
    they dont have to deal with DMV traffic, but still. They arrive early, they get
    loud, and they stay that way.Fun fact: The WiFi is pretty bad. (To be fair, so
    is the Verizon Centers.)4. Purdue Boilermakers: Mackey Arena, opened in 1967
    Mackey Arena has seen some significant quality-of-life upgrades in recent years,
    but the guts of the building remain mostly unchanged. This is a good thing.
    Mackey is, as weve noted in the past, a concrete dungeon of noise, one of the
    most underrated, acoustically punishing and generally inhospitable facilities in
    college basketball. The students hanging over the elevated baseline stands, more
    or less eye-level with the shooters angle at the basket, are a problem, sure.
    But mostly, its just. So. Loud.Fun fact:?Purdue great Brian Cardinal is
    installing a replica Mackey Arena floor at a public court in Valparaiso,
    Indiana, an initially awkward-seeming spot. Valpo has its own hoops thing going,
    which is explained by its status as the hometown of fellow Purdue alum Robbie
    Hummel. Either way, as public courts go, this is awesome.3. Wisconsin Badgers:
    Kohl Center, opened in 1998Since the Kohl Centers inaugural season, the
    Wisconsin Badgers have won 259 of their 298 home games in the facility.
    Considering the Badgers lost five of those home games during last seasons
    atypical 9-9 start -- when Bo Ryan retired, Greg Gard took over, UW closed the
    season with a 13-4 burst and a Sweet 16 finish -- its safe to say the Kohl
    Centers uncongeniality for opponents is an ongoing concern.Fun fact: The
    building itself is named after Herb Kohl, former U.S. senator and retail
    magnate, who donated $25 million toward its construction, the largest donation
    in the history of the Wisconsin university system. Some fans used to (or still?)
    call the building Herb Garden, which is chill.2. Michigan State Spartans:
    Breslin Student Events Center, opened in 1989 Look, its Michigan State. Its the
    Breslin Center. Do you really need further proof? Fine: Coach Tom Izzos home
    record, across 21 seasons as the Spartans head coach, is 294-38. That may not be
    Bill Self-level, Ive-won-more-league-titles-than-Ive-lost-home-games-crazy, but
    its close. And the fans, fed by success and led by a cacophonous lower-level
    student section, ensure a difficult stay for any visiting team.Fun fact: The
    Breslin Center floor is the same one upon which the Spartans, led by Mateen
    Cleaves et al., won the 2000 national title.1. Indiana Hoosiers: Assembly Hall,
    opened in 1971 Were this a list of the best basketball venues in Indiana, Hinkle
    Fieldhouse would win. (Though there would be a few mid-century, 7,000-seat high
    school arenas in the running.) Toughest, though? Thats Assembly Hall. Its
    bonkers-loud, even when the team is just so-so. The sideline stands rise
    impossibly, and imposingly, into the rafters. And you can forgive the student
    sections incongruous split between the baseline, corners and upper deck for two
    reasons:The deep-pocketed who occupy the prime sideline seats are as locked-in
    and rowdy as most 20-year-olds.The 17,472-seat gym typically packs in 7,800
    students a night. No setting in college basketball has more. Few are this
    daunting.Fun fact: Everyone remembers the Christian Watford shot, and rightfully
    so. Fewer remember the Marco Killingsworth game, for a variety of reasons. But
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    The 29-year-old Baines has established himself as one of the top attacking full
    backs in the country and was the subject of two bids from United during the last
    off-season. Everton manager Roberto Martinez says that keeping Baines at the
    club is a "massive boost and exciting for the future" because he brings
    "maturity and football knowledge in a very specialized position on the pitch"
    and an "infectious and positive influence to the rest of the squad.Gerwyn Price
    and Benito van de Pas claimed their second Players Championship titles of the
    season with wins in Coventry over the weekend. Price came into the weekend
    having won the last Players event in Barnsley and he added a second consecutive
    title when claiming the honours and the £10,000 top prize at the Ricoh Arena on
    Saturday.With the worlds top four players absent following Thursdays Betway
    Premier League Play-Offs and ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters - it was
    former rugby player Price who set the standard averaging over 108 in the final
    against Jamie Caven who made a welcome return to form. Price beat Terry Temple,
    Dirk van Duijvenbode, Mervyn King and Cristo Reyes to book a place in the
    quarter-finals and his last eight encounter with ninth seed Mensur Suljovic was
    to prove his toughest test of the day.The 31-year-old came through 6-5 against
    the Austrian before beating Ronnie Baxter in the semi-final to set up a meeting
    with Caven who beat Paul Milford, Simon Stevenson, Matthew Dennant, Scott Dale,
    Andy Jenkins and third seed Dave Chisnall on route.Price proved too strong in
    the final winning 6-1 with his 108 average too much for Caven, who averaged 101.
    Benito van de Pas claimed Sundays honours in Coventry Sundays event and top
    prize was claimed by Dutchman Van de Pas who was also a winner in Barnsley
    earlier this year when he beat Michael van Gerwen in the final.ddddddddddddThe
    23-year-old whitewashed Joe Cullen 6-0 in the final to claim the first prize
    having seen off Christian Kist, Andy Boulton, World Youth Championship runner-up
    Nathan Aspinall and Jason Wilson to back the last eight.Van de Pas then eased
    past Justin Pipe 6-3 to set up a semi-final meeting with Darren Webster who he
    saw off 6-1.Cullens run to the final was impressive beating Simon Preston, Andy
    Hamilton, Antonio Alcinas, Andrew Gilding before the notable scalps of Dave
    Chisnall in the quarter-final and Steve Beaton in the last four.However, the
    youngster will have to be content with the £6,000 runners-up prize and a second
    ProTour final after running into an inspired Van de Pas in the final. Also See:
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    on Sky ' ' '