Part II! Today we’re sitting down in one of the empty seats in the student sections of the other seven B1G basketball teams. If you’re mad or confused to see your team on this list, (a) I don’t know how to tell you this, but....; (b) I didn’t know enough about you to bump you up to the other list; or (c) write your own fourteen-team rundown.
The Maize Rage
Capacity: 2,600 (20% of the Crisler Center)
No joke, I had you on the other list for a while, but then all of your top 100 students decommitted to join other student sections. Sorry.
The Maize Rage sits directly behind the teams’ benches, which has to be the best spot imaginable as a student. They have by far the best website of any section in the B1G. They have a five-page constitution. What else could a B1G student section want?
The Maize Rage does some cool stuff, too. They distribute the Rage Page, full of tips and info about the opposing team, cheers for the day’s game, and, formerly, Bacari Corner, a place for inspirational tweets from the former assistant coach Bacari Alexander. They dance to songs from the Blues Brothers. Well, mostly dance. My man front and center needs to pick it up a bit.
According to Detigers09, who I only like 30% believe about this, “Someone always dresses up as some kind of animal to represent a player. Smotrycz’s Lobstryches, Z-Rex for Zavier Simpson, Bees for Trey Burke for some reason…” If true, awesome. If not, someone get on that.
Nevermind—confirmed and it’s awesome:
Finally, noted Michigan fan Graham Filler’s memory of the Maize Rage:
I’ve only got one fan section story @Beez and it comes from Miami (Ohio), my undergraduate destination. The date is November 19, 2004, and Miami (OH) is fielding a veteran-laden team and hosting Purdue, in what turns out to be Gene Keady’s final year. Millet Hall, not usually known as a wildly intense place to play, is rocking all night mostly because 1) it’s the opening game of the season against a B1G team and 2) the team is dunking and running up and down the court. I am stationed fifteen feet from the Purdue bench and we’re giving Keady the business all game, letting him know that we do not enjoy his hair and/or his team. Two minutes to go and it looks like Miami is going to get the win. Keady gets a T for something or other, he wheels around toward my direction, tosses his jacket, gives us the bird, and impolitely instructs us to f off. The crowd goes wild. I call my mother after: “Ma, you won’t believe what happened!” She was so proud.
The Red Zone
Capacity: 1,500 (10% of PBA; seriously? Come on, Nebby, give your students more space)
The Red Zone gets to watch games in The Vault, which is already pretty great. Add in the fact their noise generated per capita must be off the charts—per this 3-year old article linking to a now-dead BTN survey where The Red Zone was ranked “among the loudest in the league”—and you’ve got a solid basketball student section at a traditional football powerhouse. For those who doubt how tough The Red Zone can make it for opposing teams, how else do you explain Tim Miles’s late-season homecourt wizardry from...I wanna say...2015?
The student section’s website lists a couple of traditions, two of which deserve comment:
Paper: when the Huskers make their first field goal of each half, the entire student section throws shredded newspaper into the air
There have been a couple Wisconsin games this year where the newspaper shreddings would have dissolved after 5+ minutes in fans’ hands. Wisconsin bball is bad, my dudes. Also what a damn mess.
HUSKER POWER during the opposing team’s player introductions, the student sections begin a HUSKER POWER chant back and forth, sometimes reaching up to 105 decibels in volume.
That seems loud, but I need to know where it stands on the scale of chainsaw to jet engine.
The Red Zone is my darkhorse student section pick to rapidly move up the Best Of rankings, btw.
Legion of Blue
Penn State Nittany Lions
Capacity: No idea. The internet tells me there were 5,700 students there for a 2007/08 OSU game (THON!), so let’s say the student section is 5,700 people big. Feel free to @ me, PSUers (37% of the BJC)
“Highlighted by the 2009 NIT Championship” as a line of the student section history made me chuckle, but a lot of B1G basketball fans should be jealous of Penn State’s student section. Not only is it easy to get tickets to the games, the students get to sit in the lower bowl parallel with the court! Except during big games where the students get shunted behind a basket, or theoretically to an upper deck, but, well... The pep band (they’re students too!) fill up half a section behind one of the baskets and likewise often have room to stretch out.
Low attendance jokes aside, the Legion of Blue is a legit group that puts in serious work to build excitement and engage students. Free food for students at BJC, pizza-eating and basketball-watching parties in the f’ing PSU TEAM’S FILM ROOM, and organizing postseason tournament road trips—all awesome things I don’t remember happening at Wisconsin and if they did I certainly didn’t know about them. Plus, they do like 75% of your trash talking for you, creating something called “40 minutes” which appears to be a Mean Girls-style burn book, but for players on the opposing team so you know exactly which heckling buttons to push.
One last low-attendance-themed joke, via Aaron Yorke’s memory:
I forgot what year it was, but when I was a student, the Krush came to the BJC and because the place is so empty, they occupied the entire space behind one of the baskets. It was so infuriating and embarrassing. Basically an Illinois home game.
Bonus unsolicited PSU student fans input from MNWildcat:
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Capacity: Judging by this map , which by law has to be to scale, I’m declaring the student section to be 1,500 people (20%, again, based on the map of the RAC)
Gonna let Rutgers football recapper Zuzu kick this off:
It’s a section... With students...
Band is a big chunk to the left of the section when facing the court
We start the cheers. The cheerleaders join in and hopefully some of the students do too
(Note: Zuzu was in the band, so we = band)
From what I can tell, the Riot Squad is a small but enthusiastic group that checks all the boxes: tries to make fun of opposing players, tries to annoy opposing players, and holds up cardboard cutouts of things. At its peak, the section makes winning at Rutgers really, really difficult, like “beat the national runner up” difficult, and apparently former coaches and players agree.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Capacity: 2,400 (13% of VCA)
BuckeyeNutHouse is an auxiliary of Block O, the official gigantic sports boostering thing at Ohio State, and here’s Block O’s elevator pitch on BNH: “The Buckeye NutHouse is exactly what you’d think, a home for Ohio State basketball’s craziest nuts.” Camping out for tickets was a big deal back when OSU was good, with the amusingly/annoyingly named Mattaritaville popping up before each game, or season. Not sure.
Not at all sadly, OSU basketball has quasi-struggled the last few seasons, driving down attendance, and making sure Mattaritaville is never seen again, unless something really crazy happens. Despite the team’s struggles, BNH remains loud, annoying, adressed in enough Zubaz to warrant multiple mentions in a single article, and hopefully, still doing weirdass things like this:
Capacity: No idea on size of the student section. Welsh-Ryan had a max capacity of 8,117 prior to temporarily closing this year, so let’s say the student section is smaller than that. (<100% of future Welsh-Ryan)
Poor Northwestern fans. In football you get lots of tarp pictures, in basketball you get this:
Northwestern writer MNWildcat had some THOUGHTS about Wildside:
They are small in number but high on enthusiasm, whatever the hell that means.
Technically the Wildside comprises the bleachers behind the basket on both ends of the court, but that really only happens when (1) someone good is playing Northwestern, (2) Northwestern is halfway decent, and (3) there’s not a big set of exams the next day. So really you’ve got anywhere from 50 to 500 nerds assembled on any given night, relatively passionate about it because Welsh-Ryan is off-campus and you’re not going up there just to fuck around.
It’s great because they only sit at halftime. I think. Maybe things have changed. But [/puts on Old Man Hat] back in my day, we stood through TV timeouts, not like the soft millennials at other schools.
Wildside does some things college-Beez would have liked: adding a “3” card along a railing when a player shoots the ball from far enough away to earn “3” “points,” a call and response (Go U —> N U), and getting to sit actually near the court.
When asking our writers for input on this article, I also asked what the relationship was like between the student section and the old people. MNW felt some kind of something about that question:
Old people are dicks and don’t make noise and it’s annoying. Clap to the fight song at least, since you’re sucking our Treasury dry with your goddamn Social Security benefits, you herpes-infested blue-bloods.
As a proud attendee of a school that I assumed just made up “Stand up Old People,” I feel ya, mang.
The Hawks Nest
Capacity: 4,000 (26% of Carver-Hawkeye)
Sorry Hawks Nest-ers, you get some of the worst seats in the stadium, the stadium is not close to the dorms, the old people get the best seats AND don’t clap, self-proclaimed Hyvee Hawkeye Stewmonkey pities you, that one student section ranking article from 2015 I keep linking to describes you as “more removed and less impactful,” and your own website admits you have a lot of room to improve.
I definitely tried to get some good info about the Hawks Nest, but times are lean for Hawkeye basketball students and researchers alike, so here’s a 6-year-old video of the home-team-FT “tradition”:
And finally, by way of reminder of Iowa student section days gone by, some inspiration to fill that student section again!
That’s finally it, everyone! I’d “love” to “hear” from you more about what to expect if a rival fan sits in your section, and I’d love to not watch any videos of cool traditions from your school you link to in the comments!
What’s the most important thing you learned during B1GHastagContent week?
This poll is closed
The Xfinity Center is an honorable mention of an arena
The B1G and MSG are like chocolate and peanut butter
Mackey Arena is top 4, maybe
After 7 years, Turgeon will have only made the NCAA Tournament three times and only won 3 NCAAT games