With the fan friendly Breslin Center and the screaming 'IZZONE' student section, the college basketball experience in East Lansing has always been unique, now it's being heralded as one of the best.

The MSU Spartans will need a long run in this weekend's Big Ten basketball tournament to keep their 19-season string of NCAA Tournament appearances alive.

But rest assured their place as one of the great college basketball towns was cemented by this week's 6th place finish on WalletHub's list of the best college hoop cities in the country. To be considered along with such historic towns as Chapel Hill, NC and Philadelphia, PA is a high honor for East Lansing, where MSU has a long history of success dating back to Magic Johnson.

To find 2017’s top spots for NCAA hoops, WalletHub crunched the numbers on 291 U.S. cities using seven key metrics. They range from the number of teams per city and the winning percentage of each to stadium capacity and social-media engagement.

THE BEST COLLEGE BASKETBALL CITIES IN THE NATION

1. Chapel Hill, NC (home of the University of North Carolina)

2. Los Angles, CA (UCLA)

3. Durham, NC (Duke)

4. Bloomington, IN (Indiana)

5. Philadelphia, PA (Villanova, Temple)

6. East Lansing (Michigan State)

7. Lawrence, KS (Kansas)

8. Lexington, KY (Kentucky)

9. Storrs, CT (UConn)

10. Cullowhee, NC (this one is a bit of a surprise, it is home to the Catamounts of Western Carolina University)

Michigan State scored highest in the category of 'Most Engaged Fans', where it tied for number one with several other towns. The rpime example of the zealotry of MSU fans can be found in the IZZONE student section, named after legendary coach, Tom Izzo.

Ann Arbor, home of the Michigan Wolverines, came in third in the mid-sized city category, but was 17th overall. East Lansing was listed as a 'small-sized city' and finished third in that category.

Other Michigan cities showing up on the extensive list include Ypsilanti (Eastern) at number 64, Mt. Pleasant (Central) at 84, Detroit (several schools including Detroit Mercy) at 197, Rochester Hills (Oakland U) at 241 and Kalamazoo (Western) at 258.


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Source: WalletHub