Ranking the best NCAA basketball rivalries, including Duke vs. North Carolina, Indiana vs. Purdue and all the best that make college basketball the best.
Any list purporting to identify and rank the best college basketball rivalries will be full of subjectivity, recency bias, geographic limitations, ageism and the overarching theme that any list produced is going to enrage a significant subset of the college hoops fandom.
College basketball die-hard fans will tune in to just about any game they can find, but the games between teams included on this list offer something for hoop heads and casual fans alike. These games tend to have more meaning, more raw emotion, and more drama than your run-of-the-mill games. For those reasons, identifying these great rivalries sets the table for the games you must see when college basketball returns.
This list is subjective as all lists of this kind will be. However, I’ve tried to approach the compiling of this list from a quasi-rational perspective. Some of the factors incorporated in my calculus are the number of times the teams have played over the years and the historical length of the rivalry, the significance of the games played, e.g. NCAA Tournament games, geographic proximity of the schools, my perception of the visceral reactions brought on by these matchups in fans, players, and alumni of the involved schools, and fun, because at the end of the day, that’s what watching college basketball is all about.
To help encapsulate each rivalry, we’ll be reviewing a noteworthy game played between the programs over the years, along with assessing the historical significance of the matchup and any other factors that combine to elevate the rivalry to a status worthy of inclusion on this list.
Ready? Let’s go!
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