Over a two-week span, we're answering the following question for college basketball's 10 best conferences: Which venue in each conference is the toughest place to play? A number of factors, not just capacity and attendance, could affect a venue's placement in the order. Where does your school fall?
Yes, we all know Kansas' Allen Fieldhouse is No. 1. No debate there. But the other slots in the top five are debatable. Some the league's best spots in the past -- we're talking to you, Kansas State and Oklahoma State fans -- haven't lived up to the hype in recent years because of some of the challenges on the court. So feel free to disagree.
10. TCU Horned Frogs: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, opened in 1961
Last year's $72-million overhaul converted the former Daniel-Meyer Coliseum into a modern edifice that features the attractive amenities that lured former Pitt coach Jamie Dixon back to his alma mater this offseason: improved courtside seating; wider concourses; and a fan-first redesign that enhanced the in-game experience. Don't judge the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena -- with a seating capacity of 6,800 -- just by its current ranking here. Consider its potential. If Dixon recruits top talent, the 5,314 average attendance in 2015-16 will soar in the coming years and elevate the atmosphere in this building.
Fun fact: Before the completion of last year's renovation, a group of TCU boosters and officials visited Wichita State's Charles Koch Arena. That's where they came up with their vision to add premium seating positioned closer to the court.
9. Baylor Bears: Ferrell Center, opened in 1988
Coach Scott Drew's program is blessed with a state-of-the-art practice facility that features video game consoles in every locker stall and a theater so close to the team's lockers that they can turn around on their stools and watch game film on the large screen. That's what you need to compete with the top dogs in college basketball. But the Ferrell Center (capacity of 10,284) lacks a comparable vibe, although school officials continue to add new trinkets. An average crowd of 6,410 showed up last season to watch a Baylor squad that finished 4-5 in conference play at home. That's not great and probably a contributing factor in Baylor's 66 percent home-win mark (No. 195 in Division I, according to rpiratings.com).
Fun fact: The Ferrell Center's gold dome weighs nearly 175 tons.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders: United Supermarkets Arena, opened in 1999
The nasty confrontation between former Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart and a Texas Tech fan in 2014 was an unfortunate conclusion to a game that displayed the vociferous crowd calamity that's possible at United Supermarkets Arena. The Big 12's coaches don't like this trip. Last year, Texas Tech won six of its nine Big 12 home games and reached the NCAA tournament, as coach Tubby Smith assembled his best talent pool. The next step? Filling up the building. The Red Raiders averaged just over 8,000 fans last season in a building that holds 15,000.
Fun fact: Texas Tech boasts two mascots: the Masked Rider, who rides a horse, and the Red Raider. The school employs two mascots because a rule in the 1970s in the old Southwest Conference prevented teams from using live animals during road games.
7. Kansas State Wildcats: Bramlage Coliseum, opened in 1988
In 2015, Kansas State fan Nathan Power bumped former Kansas forward Jamari Traylor during a court storming in Manhattan that followed an upset win over the Jayhawks. Power was cited for disorderly conduct after an incident that demonstrated the level of emotion that fills Bramlage Coliseum (capacity of 12,528). The average crowd last season was 11,902, and the Wildcats faithful supported a Kansas State team that finished 5-13 in the Big 12 and 4-5 at home during conference play. It's a tough venue, but the talent on the floor has decreased in recent years. Yet that doesn't change the challenges. "It's just a crazy atmosphere," Traylor said prior to last year's Kansas-Kansas State game. "It's always tough in there, because they play so hard; and because of the rivalry, they want to win. And we want to win too, so we've just gotta go out there and be focused."
Fun fact: The infamous Kansas State court storming incident of 2015 produced a rare official statement from a fan. From Nathan Power after the game: "Following the basketball game, I simply let my emotions get the best of me in all of the chaos. In my excitement, I was not careful of the people I was around. I am sorry that I made the KU basketball team -- Jamari Traylor, in particular -- feel disrespected. By no means can I change what took place, but in the future, I will be aware of how emotions can impact good judgment."
6. Texas Longhorns: Frank Erwin Center, opened in 1977
Texas has won nearly 81 percent of its home games at the Frank Erwin Center. That's the 33rd-best home-court advantage in the country. And second-year coach Shaka Smart has added the energetic figure and style that will continue to boost the vibe in the building. The difference between the mood during Texas' home games in 2014-15 (Longhorns fans who gently cheered as if they were watching the 13th hole of the first-round in a European Tour event) and its home win over North Carolina in 2015-16 a few months later (wild Texas fans harassed Marcus Paige and his teammates every time they touched the ball and shaking the building on Javan Felix's buzzer-beater to win the game) was vast. Texas fans are ready to restore the feel in this building that lost so much fire that the school recently hired an NBA consultant and a deejay to enhance the environment. They're moving in the right direction.
Fun fact: DJ Mel is the official deejay for men's basketball at Texas. He was inducted in the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys: Gallagher-Iba Arena, opened in 1938
Multiple renovations -- including a $56 million project that doubled capacity to 13,611 -- have changed this building from its original form in 1938. But it has always maintained its reputation as a hostile, unwelcoming environment for opponents. Even in tough times -- last year's team finished 3-6 in Big 12 play and competed in front on an average crowd of 5,857 -- it's still a challenging venue. It's built to make opponents feel like the crowd is sitting in their laps. The students sit close enough to hear what's happening in a foe's huddle during timeouts. But the talent has been missing. That's the problem here. The intimidation is only present when the players match the environment. And that hasn't been the case in recent years at Oklahoma State. They have won, however, 78 percent of their home matchups since the arena opened.
Fun fact: The Cowboys play on the original white maple surface that was installed when the building was erected in 1938.
4. Oklahoma Sooners: Lloyd Noble Center, opened in 1975
The Buddy Hield era showcased that perfect combination of rabid supporters and a great on-court product. The Sooners averaged 10,000 fans last season, good for No. 43 in attendance in the country. After Hield's tip-in sealed a win over Kansas in the 2014-15 season, he jumped onto press row and basked in the chaos. Sooners fans didn't storm the court. Instead, the team went into the student section. That's Oklahoma basketball. Coach Lon Kruger's squads have helped the program extend its record of success at Lloyd Noble Center, where the Sooners have won 85 percent of their home games. They finished 8-1 in Big 12 play there last season.
Fun fact: Oklahoma fan Toby Keith performed "Cryin' for Me" in 2010 at the Lloyd Noble Center as part of a tribute concert for Wayman Tisdale, the former Oklahoma star who died of cancer at age 44.
3. Iowa State Cyclones: Hilton Coliseum, opened in 1971
In 2013, Iowa State surrendered a late lead in a loss to Kansas at Hilton Coliseum. After the game, police had to restrain a fan who charged Kansas coach Bill Self. This wasn't a college kid. This was a grown man. He was in his 50s. That's not a typical reaction from Iowa State fans. But it showed the passion. "Hilton Magic" isn't just a slogan. It's a feeling. When the Cyclones are soaring, it's as if everyone in the building is screaming at the same pitch and cheering on a rehearsed cadence. They don't just love their Cyclones. They believe in them. And the rumble that faith yields in Hilton Coliseum is unique. Oh, and there were an average of 14,270 of them in 2015-16. That crowd would put the Cyclones at 29th in attendance ... in the NBA, as the Minnesota Timberwolves (14,175) and Denver Nuggets (14,095) produced smaller numbers last season.
Fun fact: What did former coach and Iowa State star Fred Hoiberg say he would miss most about Hilton Coliseum after he accepted the Chicago Bulls' job? "It smelled the same as when I came here," he said on the day of his final Iowa State press conference. "It still kind of has that popcorn aroma going through this building, and it had it again today. That's something that I'll miss a lot."
2. West Virginia Mountaineers: WVU Coliseum, opened in 1970
So you're on your way to the West Virginia campus for a basketball game. You're not looking forward to the "Press Virginia" attack that forced turnovers on 25 percent -- 25 percent! -- of its opponents' possessions in 2015-16. But that's not the first concern. First, you have to get to Morgantown. Your team charter can't squeeze into the Morgantown airport, so you're probably going to fly into Pittsburgh or even Bridgeport, West Virginia, and drive to campus. Now you're in Morgantown, but you can't get to the arena because your bus is stuck in a snowstorm. So you arrive late. But the 10,000-plus fans at WVU Coliseum are waiting for you. And their mascot is a real dude with a gun and a Davy Crockett fur cap. You don't want to go to WVU Coliseum. You just want to get out of there.
Fun fact: Before the Mountaineers joined the Big 12, school officials and supporters had to publicly contest the idea that the school's location and remoteness should prevent its inclusion. WVU Coliseum is more than 1,400 miles from Texas Tech.
1. Kansas Jayhawks: Allen Fieldhouse, opened in 1955
It's like you're in a washing machine. The smartphone videos from KU's come-from-behind win over Missouri at the Phog in 2012 all capture the moment Thomas Robinson blocked Phil Pressey's shot at end of the regulation. It's just a bunch of frenzied Kansas fans twirling their phones and heaving their bodies at one another in the improbable moment. Missouri had a 19-point lead in the second half. But Jayhawks fans kept their team alive. We all know the Phog is one of the most difficult venues for visitors in America. Coach Bill Self has lost just nine games there. But there's more to it. Opposing players, coaches and fans understand the Phog's place in basketball history. So there's a reverence attached to the venue too. After Buddy Hield scored 46 points in a triple-overtime loss at Kansas last season, some Jayhawks fans stuck around and gave him a standing ovation following his postgame TV interview. What do you do with that? They Kansas faithful are the kings of the Big 12. They sell out every game. They try to drown you in their boos for 40 minutes. And yet, they appreciate the game, so they're not afraid to applaud an opponent who puts on a show. It's like the big brother who hugs you and says, "Are you good?" after he puts you in a headlock. That's the Allen Fieldhouse experience.
Fun fact: Wilt Chamberlain, an Allen Fieldhouse and Kansas legend, was nicknamed "Dip" by his family because he had a hard time moving through doorways without bumping his head.