Asmussen: Fear the Phog

Asmussen: Fear the Phog

Houses of worship

No better day than today to discuss college basketball’s iconic gyms

As a 19-year-old, wet-behind-the-ears reporter, I made my first visit to Allen Fieldhouse. And have never looked at a basketball arena the same way again. From the “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” chant to the jet-like noise of the crowd, the place blew me away. That’s why I have Allen Fieldhouse No. 1 among college basketball settings. Our rankings, a monthlong process that coincides with the 50th birthday of the Assembly Hall, certainly can be argued. There are so many gyms with so many stories, from The Pit in Albuquerque to the Palestra in Philadelphia to a pair of Assembly Halls in neighboring states.

If your favorite gym didn’t make our Top 25, don’t fret. Starting at 7 a.m. Sunday, we'll reveal Asmussen's conference-by-conference rankings — one every half-hour — ending with the Big Ten at 11 p.m.
Bob Asmussen

Asmussen’s Top 25 gyms

1. Kansas    Allen Fieldhouse
2. Butler    Hinkle Fieldhouse
3. Duke    Cameron Indoor Stadium
4. New Mexico    The Pit
5. Kentucky    Rupp Arena
6. Indiana    Assembly Hall
7. Vanderbilt    Memorial Gym
8. Louisville    KFC Yum! Center
9. Oklahoma State    Gallagher-Iba Arena
10. Syracuse    Carrier Dome
11. Wisconsin    Kohl Center
12. Gonzaga    McCarthey Athletic Center
13. Pittsburgh    Petersen Events Center
14. St. John’s    Madison Square Garden
15. Michigan State    Breslin Center
16. UCLA    Pauley Pavilion
17. Utah State    Smith Spectrum
18. Iowa State    Hilton Coliseum
19. Arizona    McKale Center
20. North Carolina    Smith Center
21. Old Dominion    Ted Constant Convocation Center
22. Illinois    Assembly Hall
23. San Diego State    Viejas Arena
24. Wichita State    Koch Arena
25. UNLV    Thomas & Mack Center  

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jeffh wrote on March 03, 2013 at 8:03 am

Our Assembly Hall deserves to be much higher than 22.

Bwp 5P wrote on March 03, 2013 at 8:03 am

Maybe.....but until they get those "A" section seats filled.....and get the students near the still lacks the energy as some other places!

Bigdawgg13 wrote on March 04, 2013 at 9:03 am

No Mackey?? Really??  LOL

dhendricks71 wrote on March 03, 2013 at 10:03 pm

The University of Illinois Assembly Hall should be much higher if you are using the word Icon.  One of the things most of these building have in common is the have no character.  Many including Indiana's Assembly Hall look like large high school gynasiums.  The University of Illinois Assembly is architecturally unique in its design.  That alone make it more iconic than  almost all of these others.  Everyone in the Big Ten and many college basketball fans can tell you what  it looks like because it is almost always shown from the outside when Illinois plays on TV.  I don't think many could tell you what the rest of these cookie cutter gymnasiums even look like from the outside.   Just exactly what is are these rankings based on.  The teams perceived status or current ranking.  The Kohl center is nice and modern but it is hardly a decade old. It shouldn't even be in the top 25.  Is it based on fan support because if it is Pauley Pavilion wasn't even half full for a game just a few weeks ago.  Butler just in the last few years has started to fill its arena.  Its more famous for its High School history. Don't even get me started on Utah states'  Gonzagas'  Iowa State or any other arena no ones ever heard off. Old Dominion????  They still have a team?  San Diego States  Viejas Center is ICONIC??.  I have followed college basketball for over 30 years and Ive never even heard of it.  Hey Assmussen give me some of what your smoking.

Brownshoe wrote on March 03, 2013 at 11:03 pm

We disagree on what "iconic" means. To me iconic means something that was in popular use at a time. Our Assembly Hall is the exact opposite. Rather than iconic it was/is exotic. The iconic basketball venue was just a big oversized gym, as are  most of the buildings on Bob's list. I'll grant you that they have been gussied-up over time, but they are still the iconic big gym. Not so our Assembly Hall, I don't think it should be on the list at all. 


Now if he were to list the exotic BB venues, we would probably top the list.