With March Madness less than a week away, a new report called March Madness Stats & Facts infographic, as well as a report on 2022’s Best Cities for College Basketball Fans should help get hoops lovers psyched for this magical time of year.

To find 2022’s top spots for NCAA hoops, WalletHub crunched the numbers on more than 290 cities using nine key metrics. They range from the number of teams per city and the winning percentage of each to stadium capacity and social-media engagement.

Best Cities for College Hoops FansWorst Cities for College Hoops Fans
1. Durham, NC283. Jersey City, NJ
2. Storrs, CT284. St. George, UT
3. Lexington, KY285. Pocatello, ID
4. Lawrence, KS286. Wilmington, NC
5. Los Angeles, CA287. Daytona Beach, FL
6. East Lansing, MI288. Berkeley, CA
7. Philadelphia, PA289. Evansville, IN
8. Chapel Hill, NC290. Montgomery, AL
9. Fayette, MS291. St. Paul, MN
10. Kingston, RI292. New Britain, CT

Best vs. Worst

  • The Gonzaga Bulldogs have the highest current winning percentage among college basketball teams, 93.33%, which is 12.1 times higher than the winning percentage of the Chicago State Cougars, the team with the lowest at 7.72%.
  • Thanks to John Wooden and UCLA, Los Angeles is home to the country’s most national championship banners (11), while Philadelphia has the most regular-season titles (94).

Experts Have Thoughts

What, in your mind, makes a good college basketball fan?

“Characteristics of a good college basketball fan include the following. First off, they have to be knowledgeable. They need to understand the game, so they can heckle the officials or players when questionable calls happen or do not happen. Being knowledgeable also means they can appreciate a great coaching job or effort by an opposing player, even if it means their team may lose. Second, they respect the game and those involved in the game. While it is okay to heckle opposing coaches, players, and even officials, good fans know there is a line that is not crossed. Swearing at the opposition or using racist or derogatory language, is never acceptable…A good fan of college basketball is always loud and supportive of the team, even when the chips are down. Their passion for the team runs deep and does not waver. Lastly, a great college basketball fan is all in on game time gear – whether it be the team-colored game bibs, facial or body paint, a wild wig to match, crazy accessories, or signs that get you on TV or Sports Center highlights are a must,” according to Brian Hofman, associate professor at Ohio Northern University.

“Passion is what makes a good college basketball fan. Enough passion to follow for the team, whether the team is winning or losing. And the thing about passion is that it does not cost much money. Sure, it costs time and emotion – but not a lot of money. A fan who has never attended a college basketball game can be just as passionate, or more than a season-ticket holder,” said
Rhema Fuller, Ph.D., and associate professor at The University of Memphis; associate editor, Journal of Intercollegiate Sport.

Do you have any tips for how basketball fans can enjoy the sport without breaking the bank?

“If fans do not have an option of discounted tickets through their university box office or an “authorized” online ticket agent, the best way to maintain your fandom is through the media (television, internet, radio – do not laugh, radio is still a viable source for sport consumption. If we were not in a pandemic, I would also recommend sports bars or watch parties among fans. These options are great ways to be an avid basketball fan without breaking the bank,” said Billy Hawkins, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Houston.

“Antenna TV is free and offers coverage on weekends during the season for college basketball fans. In addition, there are many opportunities to stream college games without paying, even if it means watching the game a few hours after the live broadcast. Fans can save money to attend one or two big games a year. Savvy fans can purchase tickets on the street at discounted prices and can opt to sit in lower-priced seats,” added Robert C. Schneider, a distinguished service professor; coordinator, sport management program at  The College at Brockport, State University of New York.

In your opinion, what will be the financial toll of the pandemic on the basketball industry?

“While there will be some impact, I believe the financial toll will be minimal this year, especially when compared to last year, as people are more willing to travel now. The Super Bowl did not seem to experience any significant issues related to the pandemic, so – barring any further outbreaks – I would not expect the NCAA tournaments (both men’s and women’s) to be much different,” added Jeff Noble, Ed.D.  an associate professor; undergraduate coordinator, department of sport management at Wichita State University.

To read the full report and to see where your city ranks, please visit here.

Source: WalletHub