Men's Basketball

Big Blue Nation might take issue with website’s ranking of college basketball towns

Lexington ranks fifth in a listing released Tuesday of the nation’s “Best Cities for College Basketball Fans” by WalletHub.com, a personal finance website.

The site purports to evaluate nine different criteria in its compilation, including winning percentage, number of teams per city, arena capacity, ticket price and social media engagement.

Lexington ranked behind No. 1 Chapel Hill, N.C. (North Carolina), No 2. Lawrence, Kan. (Kansas), No. 3 Los Angeles (UCLA, USC), and No. 4 Durham, N.C. (Duke). Lexington ranks second in the study’s “large city” category behind Los Angeles.

Louisville checks in at No. 27 on the list, Murray (Murray State) at No. 48, Highland Heights (Northern Kentucky) at No. 92, Richmond (Eastern Kentucky) at No. 112, Bowling Green (Western Kentucky ) at No. 115, and Morehead at No. 145.

And, sorry, Central Connecticut State fans, New Britain, Conn., ranks last in the 280-team study.

Lexington and Louisville each fall into a tie at No. 215 for minimum ticket price, with hundreds of other schools ranking as more affordable, led by Colgate’s home of Hamilton, N.Y.

The site also includes a number of other statistics, infographics and sports business experts’ opinions, including Tony Neely, UK’s assistant athletics director for media relations.

Neely defended Lexington as the best city for college basketball fans, noting UK regularly leads the nation in attendance, including this year, and “there’s no ‘day off’ in the offseason. Our fans are eager for news and opinion about the team 365 days a year.”

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