Ranking The Sweet 16 Teams Based On Their Student Sections

March Madness is in full swing, but which team will come out on top?

Everyone knows March Madness is one of the best times of the year. Basketball is on basically 24/7 for a solid month, dreams are realized (or crushed), and brackets end up busted. But now we’re down to the Sweet 16, and the NCAA title is closer than ever.

But aside from the power rankings and what the analysts say, what about the student sections? The students who show up and cheer their hearts out every game, no matter what? They deserve to get recognized, too.

We’ve ranked the remaining teams in the 2024 March Madness tournament based on how crazy/intense/chaotic/spirited their student sections are. See how the schools turned out!

16. Creighton Bluejays

Creighton’s student section got into some hot water recently due to some obscene chants and gestures made during a game against UConn in February. The student section has always had a pretty contentious relationship with the university itself, unfortunately.

15. Marquette Golden Eagles

Marquette has always had a decent program when it comes to basketball, but they don’t have as much name recognition and clout compared to the rest of the Sweet 16 teams this year. While the student section tries to compensate for that, they just don’t have the firepower (yet).

14. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State has made some serious plays for the NCAA title in the past decade or so. Their student section doesn’t mess around, but the student section keeps moving around the stadium, making it tougher to find the established section everyone looks for.

13. Houston Cougars

Fertitta Center in Houston has some of the best seating in the country, and 400 seats in the front are devoted to the student section. However, outside of their home turf, other student sections tend to shine more.

12. UConn Huskies

UConn has a historically tough basketball program, usually ranking somewhere in the top 4 every year of the tournament. Unfortunately, the ticketing system for student isn’t very well-organized at UConn, limited their cheer section at games.

11. NC State Wolfpack

NC State is known for having a great student section for football, but less so for basketball. While their fans still show out for March Madness, they definitely favor football over basketball when it comes to turnout.

10. Tennessee Volunteers

Another case of the student section not being the more organized when it comes to ticketing and leaving fans in a bit of a bind trying to snag tickets. The Vols always make a decent run during the tourney, but they rarely go the distance, and the same goes for their student section.

9. Alabama Crimson Tide

Roll Tide! Of course Bama shows up big for every sporting event, but similar to NC State, football games are what they’re known for. Their basketball team proves that SEC teams can still play ball, but most of the student section energy gets devoted to football games.

8. Clemson Tigers

Now we’re in the top 8. It was a toss-up between Clemson and Bama for the 8th spot, but Clemson just edged out the other SEC team. Their basketball program has a bit more name recognition than Bama’s, pushing them into the upper half of the Sweet 16.

7. Arizona Wildcats

‘Zona is another huge basketball program that almost always makes the tournament (and is generally within the top 4). Their fans always show out big during basketball season, but they have some tough competition this year, pushing them to the 7th spot.

6. Purdue’s Paint Crew

Indiana basketball in general is in a league of its own, but Purdue basketball knows what’s up. Their fans are die hard, and they support their team year after year (even after their catastrophic round one loss during the 2023 tournament last year).

5. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Another program with a historically strong basketball team, Gonzaga fans always support their team big time during March Madness. When you make the tournament basically every year, of course you’re going to be excited about it.

4. Illinois’ Orange Krush

Illinois’ basketball program might be a bit hit or miss depending on the year, but the Orange Krush is ready to support them regardless, especially come tournament time. Their fans create a great atmosphere for their players, regardless of where the game’s at.

3. San Diego State’s The Show

Notoriously known as having one of the worst-named student sections in the country doesn’t stop SDSU’s The Show from creating an atmosphere at tip-off. And while they do tend to push the boundaries when it comes to signs and chanting, it hasn’t stopped them from showing up.

2. University of North Carolina Tar Heels

UNC has the most Sweet 16 appearances of any NCAA basketball team ever. Their fans are spread out across the country, and they travel well in support of their team. Having a historically incredible basketball program (thanks Roy Williams!) doesn’t hurt, either.

1. Duke’s Cameron Crazies

Was there ever really any doubt? Of course Duke’s Cameron Crazies would take the top spot, and it’s right where they belong. Their student section is the most insane in the country, Cameron Arena is unlike any other, and their fans are, well…crazy! The fans travel well, and Coach K built a nearly untouchable basketball dynasty the entire time. Go Duke!