These schools are ready for March Madness
March Madness is right around the corner, and college basketball fans are preparing for some intense match-ups. College basketball encourages school spirit, competition, and a strong sense of school community. Some schools boast basketball game attendance rates of nearly the entire student population, not to mention additional alumni, faculty, and other super fans. That large fan base can make for an intense arena environment at some schools, and as tournament time approaches, that atmosphere can make match-ups even more intense.
Here are some of the top schools in Division I basketball heading into tournament season!
Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA
Following an Elite 8 run in the 1998-1999 season, Gonzaga saw an influx of applications to the school resulting in a 65% increase in size of the freshmen class from 1997-2003. Gonzaga has appeared in the NCAA tournament every year since 1999, and have positioned themselves as a number one seed for the 2013 tournament.
Gonzaga is a private Roman Catholic university founded in 1887 by a missionary who wished to open a Catholic school in the northwest for the Native American population. Now with a student enrollment of nearly 5,000 undergraduates and 75 majors, Gonzaga students enjoy an average class size of 23 students and a student/faculty ratio of 11:1.
Duke University, Durham, NC
The Duke Blue Devils boast one of the most well-known and enthusiastic fan bases in all of college sports. The “Cameron Crazies,” as they are known in college sports, create one of the most intense arena atmospheres for Blue Devil opponents, and fans are known to camp out in front of the stadium for courtside student standing room. With one of the most prestigious programs in the country, Duke boasts four national championships and has the fourth highest number of wins in NCAA basketball history.
Duke University is a highly selective private school located in Durham, North Carolina. The campus includes an art museum, a research forest named Duke Forest, a lemur center, a greenhouse, a nuclear lab, and a marine lab amongst other amenities. Undergraduates may choose from over 40 majors in the college of arts and sciences, or from four disciplines in the school of engineering.
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
The Hoosiers are known as arguably the most passionate and celebrated fans in the country. Indiana’s arena, Assembly Hall, is one of the loudest environments in the NCAA and intimidates opponents with its infamous steep seating that hover over the court. With five national championships, Indiana’s basketball legacy reigns supreme and their iconic candy striped warm-up uniforms will definitely be making a strong appearance during March Madness this year.
Indiana University is a large public university located in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana. Home to the Kinsey Institute, the school was the first to offer a doctorate in Gender Studies, and is the only school in the country to have a Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Indiana’s Jacobs School of Music is ranked consistently as one of the top schools for music in the nation, and the school of public and environmental affairs is the largest of its kind in the country.
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
The Louisville Cardinals have won two national championships, played in nine Final Fours, and have made 38 tournament appearances in the program’s 101 year history. Their program is one of the most profitable in the country, largely due in part to their very high attendance rate at games.
Founded in 1798, Louisville was the first city-owned public university in the United States. The school is one of the fastest growing research institutions in the country, with strong programs in spinal cord and neurology research. Louisville’s hospital is home to the nation’s first emergency room, and one of the first blood banks in the country. Amongst nearly 70 fields of study, Louisville offers the country’s only minor in African American theater, and their law school was one of the first to require a public service component.
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
With their most recent trip to the Final Four in 2007, the Hoyas are ready to make an appearance again and work towards a potential second NCAA title. With team alumni like NBA star Patrick Ewing and Congressman Henry Hyde, Georgetown’s basketball program ensures the success of players well beyond their time on the court.
Georgetown is a Jesuit university located in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. The school has campuses abroad in Italy, Turkey, and in Doha, Qatar where Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service has a branch. Georgetown boasts the country’s oldest student theater group and largest student-run business, Students of Georgetown, Inc.
As the madness approaches, these impressive basketball programs will vie for the NCAA National Championship. Schools where basketball reigns supreme offer students a unique experience in intense school spirit, competition, and loyalty, and give graduates a lifetime of fandom membership!