As we head toward the NCAA Tournament, it’s time for college basketball fans to figure out which bandwagons to jump on. You know, those teams that put together Cinderella-type runs or have a feel-good story. It’s still a bit too early to tell which teams will qualify for that candidate list. However, this we know for sure – there are several teams that we’ll never root for. In fact, they’re considered in many circles to be the evil empires of college basketball. If you’re a fan of one of these teams, we’re sorry. For you.
If being hated was a job, then Kentucky’s basketball program might have the best résumé in the history of everything. Its eight national titles, 16 Final Four appearances, and 2,100 all-time wins are plenty reason enough to hate them with a fiery passion, but like the blue blooded super-villains of basketball that they are, they constantly give you more and more reasons to hate them. In fact, to heck with this “Top 10 Teams We Love to Despise” list, I should just make a list called “Top 10 Reasons To Hate Kentucky”, but I don’t think I could decide on just 10 reasons. I mean the reasons are endless, the arguably most cheatingest coach of all-time is worshipped like a god within the state, they’re the sole reason for the coining of the phrase “one-and-done”, and they just win too much. Not to mention the fact that the arena they play in is named after a known racist. Irony much?
Perhaps the only team in the entire country that could even come close to Kentucky for the coveted “Most Hated” crown would be Duke. They’re wear the same ugly blue, have the same horrible fans, and the same winning history. The only real difference is that Coach K is a smidge more likable than Calipari. Then there’s just the style of play that infuriates basketball fans everywhere. Smart? Yes. Annoying? Hell yes. When they’re not flopping like a Manchester United player, then they’re taking a charge that every other player in the country would have bailed out of three steps prior. Duke sticks to the common theme of a lot of our most hated teams, they’re just too good.
3. North Carolina
So far we’re 3-for-3 on teams that we hate that also wear that gaudy blue and white. North Carolina’s particular shade of blue is a little different, but still hideous and easily recognizable as the signature to an easily hate-able program. You can’t hate just one team in the Duke-UNC rivalry without hating the other, unless of course you’re a fan of one of the two teams, in which case how are you even reading this? The only thing keeping North Carolina behind Duke in this list is the fact that it did produce the best basketball player of all time and the late, great Dean Smith.
While Kentucky, Duke, and UNC dominate the majority of the hate on the East Coast, UCLA has a monopoly on the West. Most of that hate stems to the fans that without fail, year after year, no matter how bad of a season they’re having, will be quick to remind you that one time like 50 years ago they won a bunch of national titles in a row. Big whoop. Too bad they haven’t won one since most of their players have even been alive.
I could write an entire page on why I hate Kansas just for the hype around Andrew Wiggins and how he was supposedly the next LeBron James, but in reality wasn’t even the best player in the country and was barely the best on his team that year. But that type of ludicrous assumption fits in perfectly with the overall arrogance of that program. As former Jayhawk Wilt Chamberlin said, “No one roots for Goliath.” Of course it’s easy to have that type of arrogant attitude when its the only thing distracting you from the boring wasteland that is your home state.
The formula for hating Georgetown is simple. They’re in DC, we all hate everyone in DC. They’re good year after year, that’s just annoying. They’re a bunch of nerds, nerds shouldn’t be good at sports! Will someone please tell Harvard and Georgetown this? And the biggest reason is because they’re the Hoyas. What in the heck is a freakin’ Hoya?
7. Ohio State
If you don’t hate all Ohio State sports, are you even a college sports fan? Year after year, all of their teams enter the season in the Top 15. Then the season progresses and they lose to a few bad teams, but play Michigan and Michigan State close enough to justify the delusional voters keeping them in the Top 20. It’s only when they crash and burn in the final weeks of the season that ESPN and the polls act like something catastrophic happened and finally give up when the general public never even believed in them in the first place. Luckily for the Buckeyes this is a list of teams we hate most and not fans we hate most — in which case they would be No. 1 without contest.
Before this year Syracuse might be just outside the Top 10 and not even make this list; however, after their “we’re banning ourselves from the postseason” move earlier this month, they’ve earned the No. 8 spot. Leave it to a privileged school like Syracuse to try and avoid real punishment by acting responsible and banning themselves from the postseason in a year where they probably wouldn’t have even been close to a tournament berth anyways.
I thought about simply making this entry “(See Why I Hate Kentucky)”, but even though all the reasons are almost identical, I thought I could make it a bit more specific. Louisville is basically the not-as-good Kentucky and Pitino is basically the not-as-good Calipari. The fanbase still has that classic ignorant Kentuckian twang though, which comes to be expected when your “wonderful campus” sits between a dog food factory and train tracks. Plus their logo is a bird with teeth, which is not factual and unsettling.
10. Western Kentucky
There are too many laughable things about Western Kentucky’s athletics to even go into, but the highlights are the name “Hilltopper”, their ridiculous-ity of a mascot (so bad that we just made up a word to describe it), and their dump of basketball arena. I think we can all be thankful that every year around this time Hilltopper Nation gets knocked back down to size when they take a beating from MTSU. True Blue, baby!