College Basketball Picks

NCAA Basketball: Ranking of the Top Rivalries

Fans love to argue about the best matchups in college basketball, but there are some that are clearly on top of others. If you are a fan of the sport then it’s not hard to identify some of the best rivalries in the game. 

The best NCAAB odds are typically found during March Madness, but you can also get some great betting options when the biggest games take place. Here is a look at some of the top college basketball rivalries in the sport. 

7. Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Missouri Tigers

We are starting the list of the best college basketball rivalries with an annual showdown in the Midwest. Illinois and Missouri meet up in the Braggin’ Rights game every year, and this used to be the best non-conference game every year.

Things have started to die down a bit over the last few years, but these two basketball programs still hate each other. Both programs typically battle it out for the same players, and it leads to some great action on the court. 

6. Georgetown Hoyas vs. Villanova Wildcats

While most conferences are known for college football, that isn’t the case with the Big East Conference. The Big East has produced some great basketball rivalries over the years, but none bigger than Georgetown against Villanova.

The 1985 NCAA Championship Game will go down as one of the biggest upsets of all time as Villanova stunned Georgetown as a big underdog.

Villanova has since become one of the best college basketball programs in the country, and that has only made this rivalry even better. 

5. Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kansas State Wildcats

The Kansas Jayhawks have been the class of the Big 12 Conference for the past two decades under Bill Self. It’s a shock anytime that Kansas doesn’t win the league, but there is always one team that seems to give them a challenge.

Kansas State does not have a great basketball tradition, but the Wildcats always seem to be ready to do battle with Kansas.

One nice thing about this rivalry is that the Kansas State fans always seem to deliver when they are hosting the Jayhawks for a huge matchup in Big 12 action. 

4. UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona Wildcats

The Pac-12 Conference isn’t always strong when it comes to basketball, but UCLA and Arizona help to carry the league.

NCAA Champions

Both programs have won NCAA championships, and they are usually both ranked in the Top 25 as well. This rivalry is going to be changing a bit soon as they will both be heading to the Big Ten Conference.

There have been some huge battles between UCLA and Arizona in the past, and that should continue for years to come. 

3. Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Basketball is king in the state of Indiana, and the Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers are the two best NCAAB teams in the state. Both are members of the Big Ten Conference, and that league is one of the best in the sport also.

NBA Prospects

You aren’t usually going to see a ton of NBA prospects on the floor when the Hoosiers and Boilermakers meet up, but you will see the game played the right way.

The Gene Keady and Bob Knight eras helped to make this rivalry one of the best in the sport. 

2. Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Blue Devils

The state of Kentucky is another one that loves its basketball, and it’s always a show when Louisville and Kentucky take the floor.


One nice thing about this rivalry is that it’s usually a true home game for either team, and the students are able to get in on the act.

Louisville and Kentucky are usually two teams to target when making NCAAB picks as well as there have been plenty of titles between the two programs. 

1. Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

There is no doubt that the Duke-North Carolina matchups is on top when it comes to college basketball rivalries. These are two blue blood basketball programs that are separated by less than 10 miles in North Carolina. 

The fans of each school hate each other, and it creates an incredible environment every time that these teams take the court.

Legendary Coaches

This rivalry has also had some legendary coaches, including:

  • Coach K
  • Dean Smith
  • Roy Williams

The fact that the two teams met up during the 2022 NCAA Final Four added to this rivalry, and they should continue being two of the best college basketball teams in the country moving forward. 

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