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Top Five: Hoops venues

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,Scott Gleeson

Some of the best college basketball venues have been on display this week for rivalry week. Whether it's fan support or a unique setting, here are five of the best:

5. Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler) » The 10,000-seat arena provides a "Hoosiers" feel as the sixth-oldest arena, built in 1928. Butler has been known for its back-to-back Final Four runs recently, but the school's home gym is a traditional gem.

4. University Arena (New Mexico) ?» Known as "The Pit," the Lobos have housed one of the most unique settings in college sports since 1966. It's an 18,018-seat stadium located a mile above sea level. The noise level generated from the obscure construction, plus passionate fans, make for a lively environment.

3. Carrier Dome (Syracuse) » By far the biggest arena in college basketball -- setting an NCAA record for on-campus attendance with 34,616 in 2010 -- Syracuse's loud house gives coach Jim Boeheim and the Orange a huge home-court advantage, with 'Cuse fans often flashing unusual backgrounds during free throws.

2. Allen Fieldhouse (Kansas) ?» Built in 1955, the Jayhawks' 16,300-seat arena provides a historic college hoops feel mixed with a boisterous crowd. Chants of "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" resonate with all opponents who have played at the "Phog." The reading of newspapers to ignore the opposing team took off at Kansas.

1. Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke) » One of the smaller venues in the college game -- seating 9,314 -- the Blue Devils' home arena proves to be one of the most intimidating atmospheres thanks to Duke's die-hard fans, the "Cameron Crazies." Only Kentucky's fanbase may measure up. Add in Coach K's aura with Duke's tradition and winning at Cameron is far from easy.

- Scott Gleeson

sgleeson@washingtonexaminer.com

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