Blake has been an online writer who's passionate about science and entertainment and also knows a bit about college basketball.
Sure, science and history are usually the subjects of my articles. Those are laced with boring things like facts and data. There's a time and a place for that, but we need to switch it up. I followed college basketball quite a bit this year, and I noticed that people generally cared too much about 18–22-year-old's ability to put an orange ball through a thin orange disk. Actually, I'm clearly one of those people. Here are my (probably unfair) picks for most annoying fan bases in basketball.
7. Kansas Jayhawks
One word: smug. Other fan bases are guilty of this, but the Jayhawks fans are a perfect storm of smug. And there are a lot of them. They don't have any other programs geographically near them or in their conference that can compete with them historically, and so they can brag to pretty much everyone on their schedule. They live in a college basketball state, and they are the king of it. There's nothing you can do about it. Even if your team beats them, they still have all their history and junk. Worst of all, they're still good today and look to be good in the future.
6. Florida Gators
The Gator fans are on this list for a different reason than everyone else. Like any team with recent success, they're easy to loathe out of jealousy. After all, they've been to the past four Elite 8s and won back to back championships in 2006 and 2007. They've probably had the best last 10 years of just about anyone.
The worst part is that their fans don't care. When Florida loses, all of their fair-weather fans disappear. There's no one to taunt. No one will listen to how your team made it farther than Florida. The Florida fans that are still around can switch the subject to football. They still have basketball championships too. And yet somehow, with all this apathy, they are still able to keep one of the top five coaches in the game in Billy Donovan.
5. Indiana Hoosiers
Hoosiers fans are also unique. They were on top of the world in the 70s and 80s, especially under Bob Knight. However, now they're almost too easy to pick on.
They're probably the only elite program in a college basketball state that has fallen from grace. In the past 20 years, their only significant tournament success came in a fluke 2002 run. Now they are known for rushing courts against non-traditional programs, giving out rings for a Sweet 16 run, and cutting down nets after a loss.
Talk to a Hoosier fan, though, and they're still the best team in the state, and within a few years, they will be cutting down the nets again (for a national title). Then they will undoubtedly revert to talking about their historical success that is much irrelevant today.
To be honest, the Huskies would probably be on this list purely on success alone. They've quietly won four national championships since 1999. All of a sudden, you have to treat them like they're a legitimate powerhouse. No one thought they would be a threat in 2014 because of the way Louisville handled them. Now they will have bragging rights for a while.
There is a much, much deeper issue with their fan base, though. They are the only fan base that has the nerve to brag to you about women's basketball. There's no fan-to-fan counterargument to that success because their women's team stands head and shoulders above everyone. Even if you do know how your women's team is doing, there's nothing you can say. It is the icing on the annoying fan base cake.
No-brainer. North Carolina has exported its brand as well as any other school. There's a douchey kid at every high school in America that's a UNC basketball fan for no particular reason except to stand out. I'm not sure if this stems from a universal hate for Duke, the fact that Micheal Jordan went to UNC, or subconscious affinities for light blue. UNC always makes it worse when your hometown team loses early because the douchey kid gets to bring up how UNC made it farther in the postseason. On the other hand, if your team does better, he starts to talk about how good his Alabama football team will be this year.
The hate for UNC fans is taken to another level because they weren't punished for their African American studies scandal by the NCAA. There are truckloads of examples of NCAA ruling inconsistencies, but that scandal was a painful reminder of how the NCAA can pretty much make up rules on the fly. It's not the fan's fault, but when they name off recent national titles, it becomes infuriating.
Duke is the nerdy kid who hit a lucky game-winning shot in a pick-up game. There's no reason he should have basketball success. He's going to be your boss one day, and you should at least be able to have your moment in an athletic setting. But no. He awkwardly hit the game-winning shot, and to the victor go the spoils of winning a pick-up basketball game.
Duke fans can have some pretty elitist slogans as well. Their "safety school" chant has no problem making enemies. Their student section packed with nerds going over cheer cards is an annoyingly effective home-court advantage. Coach K, as infallible as they come, has an unfair recruiting advantage being around the nation's top talent as the national team coach. However, he's won gold medals, so you can't be mad about it.
Their recent first-round exits to Mercer and Lehigh ease the pain a little.
Kentucky fans are easy to hate for multiple reasons. Honestly, I don't know where to start.
- They have old fans that hate on Coach Cal bringing in great talent and somehow complain about watching NBA players.
- They have younger fans that are completely spoiled and talk about forcing Cal out after reasonable losses.
- They completely look down on Louisville fans. They call them "little brother," etc. and cite cultural differences. I almost put Louisville fans on the list, but I would be mad too if I won three national titles and still had clearly inferior history to an in-state team.
- The "Cal's a cheater" mantra loses credibility every year.
- Kentucky fans travel really well, especially in conference, starting C-A-T-S chants behind enemy lines.
- They print t-shirts and worship everything Cal says.
- They have the history to back it up.
And for those seven reasons, I confidently state that UK fans are the most annoying in college basketball.
My Two Fan Bases That Could Be Annoying That Aren't
- Wichita State: They had the talent to go completely undefeated in 2014, but took a tough loss against a bad match-up in Kentucky. Their fans traveled really well, seemed respectful, and didn't encounter too much success. Perfect.
- UCLA: Possessing the most national titles grants you the ability to really annoy people if desired. UCLA fans don't seem to care, though. They just enjoy California weather and are good on occasion (although I don't live near them so this could be inaccurate).
susie greer on January 20, 2018:
Lol, you want to slam UNC, let's talk abt pitino & his escapades & the fact that louisville has the most expensive college bball program in the nation , at $17 million plus. With that kind of money they should be winning the national title every year!! UNC spends abt $6.7 mil. Little bit of difference!
Kevin Jackson from North Carolina on May 10, 2014:
Hate the Cameron crazies at Duke. As a UNC fan don't judge all fans by what you see. I really can't stand dick Vitale's love for the dookes
Blake Atkinson (author) from Kentucky on April 21, 2014:
I appreciate the comments guys. I was nervous about the feedback on this hub. Moonshyne, I don't really know much about football fans because I'm a Kentucky fan and I tend to go dormant during that time of the year.
John C Thomas from Chicago, Illinois, USA on April 21, 2014:
The Butler fanbase was pretty obnoxious on the mid major level for several years. They claimed not one, but two fictious national campionships in the 1920s, invented the pompous slogan "The Butler Way" (now borrowed by many other teams), and claimed credit for deciding that the ball should be orange. Really. They're a little less insuffrable now that they've posted a 13-17 season their first year in the Big East.
Marc Rutherford from Dallas, TX on April 18, 2014:
It was entertaining. Now, Oklahoma football fans are the easiest to hate. That just may be because I am a Boise State fan.
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on April 17, 2014:
A fun article. One of the cool things about sports is that you can pick on one another. To me, Duke will always be the easiest team for the masses to hate, because they have that whole preppy image. Well executed.