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From Coast to Coast: The Greatest College Basketball Rivalries

Greatest College Basketball Rivalries

College basketball rivalries are the heart and soul of the game. Theyre ignited by the passion of the fans, the energy in the arena, the legends on the court, and the coaches on the sidelines.

These rivalries are history in the making and a display of the best of the best in college basketball. From coast to coast, the following list covers some of the most intense and competitive rivalries ever to grace basketball courts across the country.

Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

The Duke-UNC rivalry is perhaps the most talked-about basketball rivalry in college basketball.

It has been around for so long that its hard to imagine a time without it. The Tar Heels hold a 139-114 record against the Blue Devils, but each game is a toss-up.

In recent years, Duke has had the upper hand in the rivalry, thanks to stars like Zion Williamson and Kyrie Irving. But the rivalry doesnt stop at the players; the coaches are part of the competition too.

Dukes Mike Krzyzewski and UNCs Roy Williams both contribute to the rivalrys legendary status. The two men possess a combined 1,463 wins and 55 NCAA tournament appearances.

Theyve also captured twelve national championships between them. Syracuse Orange vs.

Georgetown Hoyas

The Big East Conference was the home to some monumental rivalries during its existence. Syracuse versus Georgetown was always one of the most anticipated games of the season.

The rivalry started in the early 1980s and lasted for over three decades. These teams have battled it out in over 90 games with the Hoyas holding a slight edge in the series.

The rivalry was particularly intense in the 1980s, when these two teams, led by legendary coaches Jim Boeheim and John Thompson, went head to head in the NCAA tournament and brought home several championships for the Big East Conference. Kentucky Wildcats vs.

Louisville Cardinals

The state of Kentucky is home to one of the most intense rivalries in college basketball, Kentucky vs. Louisville.

These two teams have had some hard-fought battles over the years, both nationally ranked and complete with electric crowds. While the Wildcats have had more success in the history of the rivalry, the Louisville Cardinals have gained the upper hand in recent years under the watch of former coach Rick Pitino.

Regardless of the outcomes of each game, the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry is one of the most passionate and heated basketball rivalries in NCAA basketball history. UCLA Bruins vs.

Arizona Wildcats

The Bruins-Wildcats rivalry dates back to 1979, and it is one of the most storied rivalries in the Pac-12 and college basketball, in general. These two teams never fail to bring the excitement of basketball to their crowds.

The Wildcats and the Bruins have combined for over 50 conference championships and twenty-five NCAA titles. This rivalry has produced some of the most exciting college basketball games, including the memorable 1994 game in which UCLA overcame a twenty-point deficit in the second half to beat Arizona in overtime.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kansas State Wildcats

The in-state rivalry between Kansas and Kansas State, more commonly known as the Sunflower Showdown, is one of the oldest college basketball rivalries in the country.

These two teams have been playing each other since 1907 and have had some interesting and memorable games. The Jayhawks and Wildcats have played each other over 300 times, with Kansas holding the series lead.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack

Another ACC rivalry that makes the list is the Tar Heels-Wolfpack.

This rivalry began in 1913 and has been going strong ever since. North Carolina has the upper hand in the series, but NC State has had their share of victories.

This rivalry is home to some of the games biggest stars, including David Thompson and Michael Jordan, both of whom played for the Wolfpack. The games are always intense and highly anticipated by fans of both teams.

Villanova Wildcats vs. Georgetown Hoyas

The Wildcats-Hoyas rivalry is one of the most significant and most cherished rivalries in the Big East conference.

This rivalry was at its peak in the 1980s, when these two teams met in the 1985 National Championship game in one of the most memorable games in NCAA tournament history. The Wildcats have gained the upper hand in the rivalry in recent years, but the two schools always bring their best game whenever they meet.

UConn Huskies vs. Tennessee Volunteers

The womens basketball rivalry between the UConn Huskies and the Tennessee Volunteers is one of the best rivalries in womens sports.

UConn and Tennessee have met multiple times in the national championship game, with UConn holding the edge in those games. Both schools are home to some of the best womens basketball teams in the country, thanks to the guidance of legendary coaches Geno Auriemma and the late Pat Summitt.

The rivalry between these two schools has been nothing short of exciting and will continue to be one of the marquee matchups in womens college basketball. Indiana Hoosiers vs.

Purdue Boilermakers

The Indiana-Purdue rivalry is known as the Old Oaken Bucket rivalry, a term that originally referred to a trophy awarded to the winner of the football game between the two schools. But the basketball rivalry between these two schools is equally tense and exciting.

Both schools are a part of the Big Ten conference, and the rivalry is intense due to the geographic proximity of the two universities. Legendary coach Bobby Knight made the Indiana-Purdue rivalry a big part of his tenure in Bloomington, and its been one of the most entertaining and anticipated games in college basketball ever since.

In conclusion, these rivalries may vary in intensity, but they all have one thing in commonthe passion that goes into the game. These basketball rivalries represent some of the greatest moments in college basketball history and create memories that fans will always cherish.

Whether in heated games or friendly competitions, these historical rivalries continue to inspire college basketball enthusiasts worldwide. Syracuse vs Georgetown: A Rivalry that Has Stood the Test of Time

Many college basketball rivalries come and go, but few have the enduring legacy of Syracuse vs Georgetown.

These two programs first met on the hardwood in 1930, and their rivalry reached its peak in the Big East Conference during the 1980s and 90s.

Age of the Rivalry

Syracuse vs Georgetown is one of the oldest college basketball rivalries in the country. The two programs first met each other in 1930, and since then, they have faced each other more than 95 times.

However, the rivalry didn’t become a heated one until the 1980s when Syracuse and Georgetown began to stand out in the Big East Conference. During this era, college basketball fans across the country started to notice how intense and competitive this rivalry was.

It wasn’t just about the games between the teams, but it was about the conference tournament and NCAA championships, too.

Success of the Programs

The success of Syracuse and Georgetown has helped to keep this rivalry relevant over the years. The Orange have won one NCAA championship and appeared in five Final Fours, while the Hoyas have captured one NCAA championship and appeared in five Final Fours as well.

The Orange have been led by legendary coaches such as Jim Boeheim, who’s been at the helm since 1976. Under Boeheim’s leadership, Syracuse has won over 1,000 games, including multiple conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances.

Georgetown’s success can also be attributed to their legendary coach John Thompson. Thompson coached the team for 27 seasons, leading the Hoyas to three Final Four appearances and the 1984 NCAA championship.

Thompson’s legacy is still felt at Georgetown, and his contributions to the program have helped the rivalries continue to stand the test of time.

Current Status of Rivalry

The rivalry between Syracuse and Georgetown has waned somewhat in recent years, but the teams still play each other nearly every year, making for high-intensity matchups. The rivalry came to a head on February 23, 2019, when Syracuse pulled off a 72-71 victory in the Carrier Dome.

The game was decided by a last-second shot from Orange freshman Buddy Boeheim, Coach Boeheims son, and it was one of the most exciting games in this rivalry’s recent history. Despite infrequent meetings in recent years, the rivalry between the Syracuse Orange and the Georgetown Hoyas still carries relevance in college basketball history.

Kentucky vs Louisville: A Rivalry Born of Geography

The Kentucky vs Louisville rivalry is one of the most intense and passionate in college basketball. It’s a rivalry that dates back to 1913 when these two programs first met on the basketball court.

However, the rivalry’s origins are rooted in geography, as both programs are located in Kentucky.

Historical Roots of the Rivalry

The Kentucky vs Louisville rivalry is rooted in the geographic proximity of the two schools. The rivalry started over 100 years ago when these two teams began to play each other in various sports, including basketball.

Since then, the rivalry has only grown stronger, with each game carrying immense significance for fans of both teams.

Cooling Down and Rekindling

The Kentucky vs Louisville rivalry has ebbed and flowed over the years, with the frequency of meetings between the two teams varying depending on a variety of factors. In the early years of the rivalry, the teams would often play multiple times a season.

However, there was a period in the 1960s and 1970s when the teams hardly ever played each other. Over the past few decades, the rivalry has heated up again, thanks in large part to the work of legendary coach Rick Pitino at Louisville.

Pitino was an intense and fiery coach who relished the opportunity to go head to head with Kentucky’s legendary coach, Adolph Rupp, and later, with Tubby Smith and John Calipari.

Head to Head Record

In the Kentucky vs Louisville rivalry, Kentucky holds a significant edge, winning 12 of the 18 matchups between these two teams. However, it’s worth noting that the rivalry games are often unpredictable and fiercely competitive.

In recent years, the rivalry has been closely contested, with the teams splitting the last ten games. The rivalry’s unpredictability and fiercely competitive nature highlight the deep roots of this rivalry and keep fans across the country watching eagerly each time these two teams meet.

In conclusion, college basketball fans and sports enthusiasts alike recognize the intensity and passion that exists in the Syracuse vs Georgetown and Kentucky vs Louisville rivalries. They represent some of the greatest moments in NCAA basketball history and create memories that will last a lifetime.

These rivalries embody the intensity and passion that comes with college basketball, and they continue to inspire fans and players alike all across the country. UCLA vs Arizona: Pac-12 Conference Rivalry at its Finest

The UCLA vs Arizona rivalry is one of the most compelling and entertaining rivalries in Pac-12 and NCAA basketball history.

These two programs have a long and storied history, making for an intense and exciting rivalry that continues to capture the attention of fans nationwide.

Dominance in the Pac-12

UCLA and Arizona are two of the most dominant programs in the Pac-12 Conference. The two have won more conference championships and conference tournament championships than any other school in the conference.

These two programs’ success in conference play has been integral to the rivalry’s high level of competitiveness. Both programs have had legendary coaches that have built their programs into powerhouses.

John Wooden and Lute Olsen are two of the most prominent names in college basketball and are examples of why UCLA and Arizona are among the most respected and sought-after programs in NCAA basketball.

Rivalry Origin

The rivalry between UCLA and Arizona has its roots in the Pac-10 conference, starting with their first meeting in 1923. The two schools played regularly until the Pac-10 was expanded to twelve teams in 2010.

The two teams then began to meet less frequently, but the games between them grew in stature thanks to the long-standing rivalry.

Historical Dominance

Both UCLA and Arizona have a rich history of success, making their rivalry one of the most compelling in college basketball. With over 20 Final Four appearances and over 100 NCAA tournament appearances between them, these two programs have been historically dominant for much of college basketball’s history.

The UCLA vs Arizona rivalry has produced some of the most memorable games in NCAA basketball history, including the 2008 Pac-10 conference championship game and the 1995 championship game, featuring future NBA stars like Richard Jefferson, Gilbert Arenas, and Jason Terry. Kansas vs Kansas State: The Sunflower Showdown

The Kansas vs Kansas State rivalry is one of the most intense and closely contested rivalries in college basketball.

Known as the Sunflower Showdown, the rivalry between these two schools is the longest-running in the State of Kansas.

In-State Rivalry

The Sunflower Showdown is an in-state rivalry, making it one of the most heated and passionate rivalries in the NCAA. The teams play each other yearly, often in games that determine the top seed for the Big 12 conference tournament.

The Sunflower Showdown dates back to 1907, with over 300 games played between the two schools. Each year, the game is one of the most highly anticipated games on the schedule, with both teams performing in front of their home crowds.

Big 12 Conference

Kansas and Kansas State compete in the Big 12 conference, which is considered one of the most competitive college basketball conferences in the country. The Big 12 has produced multiple NCAA champions, including Kansas in 2008.

The conference tournament games between the two schools are highly anticipated and often carry significant weight in the conference standings.

Historical Success

Both Kansas and Kansas State have rich histories in NCAA basketball. Kansas has won five NCAA championships and has made over 30 Final Four appearances, making them one of the most successful programs in NCAA basketball history.

Kansas State’s basketball program, while not as dominant, has still seen its share of success with a trip to the Final Four in 1964. The Sunflower Showdown between these two schools is integral to the legacy of college basketball in the state of Kansas.

In conclusion, college basketball rivalries are a part of what makes the sport so special. The UCLA vs Arizona and Kansas vs Kansas State rivalries are two of the most entertaining and highly anticipated rivalries in college basketball history.

The intensity and passion that exist in these rivalries have given college basketball enthusiasts unforgettable moments and contributed to the rich history of the sport. These rivalries are among the most significant in NCAA basketball history and remind us of what makes college basketball so special.

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