It’s almost time for the NCAA Tournament, so let’s figure out which North Carolina city makes the best choice for college basketball fans. We learned through our friends at that not only do we know which city is the best in the state, but it is also the best in the country.

First, let’s clarify what we’re ranking here. WalletHub crunched the numbers on more than 290 cities using nine key metrics to determine where 2022’s top spots will be for NCAA hoops. The factors range from the number of teams per city and their winning percentage to stadium capacity and social-media engagement.” As a result, we are discussing not only success on the court, but stadium environments, social media, and more.

“Passion is what makes a good college basketball fan. Enough passion to follow for the team, whether the team is winning or losing,” said Rhema Fuller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, The University of Memphis. “And the thing about passion is that it does not cost much money. Sure, it costs time and emotion – but not a lot of money. A fan who has never attended a college basketball game can be just as passionate, or more than a season-ticket holder.”

It’s no secret that college basketball inspires a great deal of passion. Business losses during the NCAA Tournament are estimated at $13.8 billion due to unproductive workers. Over $10 billion has also been wagered on the tournament. This is approximately 30 percent more than bets made on the Super Bowl.

I’ll give you the top cities in North Carolina and the United States for college basketball fans. Our first stop will be the national Top 10, followed by all the North Carolina cities.

These are the National Top 10 Basketball Teams

  • 10. Kingston, Rhode Island

    We’re stumped on this one too. Rhode Island isn’t exactly a power.

  • 9. Fayette, Mississippi

    We are struggling to understand this one. We’ve reached out to WalletHub for an explanation.

    UPDATE: Our friends at WalletHub gave us a little more info on this decision. Fayette, Mississippi is right down the road from Alcorn State University. The Braves are the proud champions of the SWAC and are well noted for their basketball passion.

  • 8. Chapel Hill, NC

    Maybe this is a product of a couple of down years for the Tar Heels. But that win over Duke last weekend certainly makes up for the loss in these rankings.

    Georgia Tech v UNC

    CHAPEL HILL, NC- JANUARY 11: Head coach Roy Williams of the Universtiy of North Carolina Tar Heels talks to his team during the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on January 11, 2004 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 103-88. (Photo By Craig Jones/Getty Images)

  • 7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    This one kind of sneaks up on you. But when you look at the combined college basketball power of Temple, Drexel, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s, and Penn, there’s a lot to be said here.

  • 6. East Lansing, Michigan

    Michigan State fans are loud and proud of ol’ Sparty.

  • 5. Los Angeles, California

    With both UCLA and USC in the mix, it’s hard to argue that L.A. wouldn’t be this high on the rankings. Even with some less than stellar years from them in recent times.


  • 4. Lawrence, KS

    Lawrence received major points since the Jayhawks are one of the most successful college basketball teams and KU fans are among the most engaged fans in college basketball. It was also criticized for having the most expensive season tickets among several other teams.

    Eastern Washington v Kansas

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 20: David McCormack #33 of the Kansas Jayhawks and Marcus Garrett #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks react to a basket during the first half against the Eastern Washington Eagles in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 20, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • 3. Lexington, Kentucky

    The University of Kentucky Wildcats are a big thing in Lexington and what they are known for.

  • 2. Storrs, Connecticut

    The UConn women’s team have been a power for so long, it’s hard to ever imagine a time where they weren’t the class of the sport.

  • 1. Durham, NC

    Was there much doubt that the home of the Duke Blue Devils would be the top spot in the country? No, not really. Unless you’re a UNC fan, in which case you might not like how far down you’re gonna have to go here to find Chapel Hill.

    Duke Devil

    March 19, 2016: Duke Blue Devils mascot during the Duke Blue Devils game versus the Yale Bulldogs in the Second Round of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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