March Madness: Best College Hoop Cities


By John Rezell

Check the calendar. It’s that time again. It’s all about the brackets.

As another NCAA Basketball Tournament draws near college hoop fans get wound up to the max while many others prepare for the one time each year when they have to remember just how a tournament bracket works.

I’ve always been a major college basketball fan. Having grown up in Milwaukee during the golden years of Marquette University basketball, it’s in my blood. I even savored the thrill of traveling to Oklahoma City to watch Marquette play in the 1977 tournament on its way to the championship in Al McGuire’s final season as coach.

The website WalletHub released its  NCAA Tournament Fun Facts infographic and some fun facts about hoop fans, including the best cities for college basketball fans.

To find 2017’s top spots for NCAA hoops, WalletHub crunched the numbers on 291 U.S. cities using seven key metrics ranging from the number of teams per city and the winning percentage of each to stadium capacity and social-media engagement.

Here’s the list of Best Cities:

Chapel Hill, NC
Los Angeles, CA
Durham, NC
Bloomington, IN
Philadelphia, PA
East Lansing, MI
Lawrence, KS
Lexington, K
Storrs, CT
Cullowhee, NC

WalletHub also offers some March Madness Fun Facts:
•    $7.3 Million – Annual salary of Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski (6X more than Duke’s president), making him the highest paid college basketball coach.
•    17X – Difference between the average NBA rookie’s salary ($1.99M) and the average value of a college basketball player’s tuition, room and board ($120K).
•    $8.9 Billion – Estimated amount wagered illegally on the 2016 NCAA basketball tournament.
•    3.5 Million – Extra barrels of American beer are produced each March.
•    $66+ Million – Tournament’s impact on Dayton, Ohio’s economy since 2001.

Let the fun begin!