Back left
Back right

Top Five Best College Basketball Rivalries

Feb 20, 2008

Hate is a strong word, but when it comes to college basketball, these schools hate each other! We rank the most intense rivalries in college hoops!

#5. Utah vs. BYU

If you live in Utah, you either cheer for the Utah Running Utes or the BYU Cougars - you can't root for both. Their campuses are separated by only 30 miles, but they definitely are not friendly neighbors. Every time these two basketball teams meet it's always a war because there is so much pride at stake when it comes to winning the BYU/Utah game! The rivalry was at an all time high especially in the late '90s when both teams were among the elite in the nation. BYU has 28 conference titles versus Utah's 38 conference titles.

#4. Purdue vs. Indiana

Everybody knows that the state of Indiana takes the game of basketball very seriously, so that's why Purdue Boilermakers and Indiana Hoosiers rivalry is so big. The era when Bobby Knight coached Indiana and Gene Keady coached Purdue, was when the best games were played. The all-time-series between the two coaches is 21-20 in favor of Keady. Out of those 41 games, 28 of them were decided by 10 points or less. Bobby Knight is famous for throwing a chair on the court during one of his battles against Purdue.

#3. Arizona vs. UCLA

A classic Pac-10, you can count of these two powerhouses having a good battle every year. This rivalry has been big in the past 20-years as the Arizona Wildcats have started to catch up to UCLA Bruin's storied program. Since 1988, the two teams combined for two national championships and seven Final Four appearances. Both teams rank among the top schools that produce NBA players.

#2. Kentucky vs. Louisville

You can either bleed blue (Kentucky's school colors) or bleed red (Louisville school colors) if you hail from the bluegrass state of Kentucky. This in-state rivalry is one of the biggest sporting events in the entire state every year. To add fuel to the fire, Rick Pitino, who coached the Kentucky Wildcats to a national title in 1997, became the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals in 2002. It has earned Rick the nickname "Traitor Rick" in Lexington, where the University of Kentucky is located.

#1. North Carolina vs. Duke

The North Carolina and Duke rivalry is not only the biggest rivalry in college basketball, but perhaps in all sports. Both schools are among the elite programs in the country and rank in the top 10, year in and year out. In the past 25 years, the two storied programs have combined for 18 Final Fours and six National Championships. With all that history, there is always a lot of bragging rights at stake. Though these schools are only six miles apart there is a lot of bad blood between them. We do not recommend you wear a North Carolina t-shirt on the Duke campus and vice versa!

Related Stories:

  • Greatest Sports Rivalries
  • Top Five College Basketball Programs
  • Players to Watch in College Basketball
  • More Cool Sports Trivia!
  • Related Articles