recently published an article ranking the toughest venues to play at in the Big Ten.

Out of 14 venues, Carver-Hawkeye Arena was ranked ninth. The article said that when packed, Carver is one of the toughest places to play. But it also listed several issues, including student participation and lackluster atmosphere. Overall, not very impressive, but there is reason for hope.

CHA is currently undergoing renovations to replace and update the audio and video equipment in the arena. This will include the installation of large video screens above center court. Carver is currently the only venue in the conference without a video board at center court.

As for student participation? That will probably be a harder problem to solve because of one word: money. The current configuration of the student section isn't conducive to student involvement. The student section is currently located behind the basket at one end of the court. Many venues have the students occupy the first several rows of seats and surround the court on all sides. This probably isn't going to happen at Carver. Why? Because the blue-haired donors currently reside in those seats, and the Iowa administration isn't going to risk upsetting high-paying bigwigs.

That's a bummer, because if Iowa fixed that issue, I could see Carver easily becoming one of the tougher venues in the country.