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Eight notable figures from the NCAA's annual attendance report

Syracuse fans celebrate after the team defeated Duke in an NCAA college basketball game in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Syracuse won 91-89
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Syracuse fans celebrate after the team defeated Duke in an NCAA college basketball game in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Syracuse won 91-89. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)

It's no surprise to see that the same three schools led college basketball in attendance last season for the fourth straight year

What was a bit more eye-opening was which school was on top.

Syracuse eclipsed Kentucky and Louisville for the average attendance crown, drawing a remarkable 26,253 fans per game last year as it made its ACC debut and maintained an unbeaten record deep into February. Kentucky finished second after leading the nation in average home attendance 17 times in the previous 18 years.

Here's a look at some of the stats that stand out from the 2013-14 college basketball attendance report released Thursday by the NCAA:

• Highest attendance per game: 1. Syracuse (26,253), 2. Kentucky (22,964), 3. Louisville (21,282)

Comment: Those three are far and away the top drawing programs. North Carolina is the closest challenger at more than 3,000 fans per game less than Louisville.

• Lowest attendance per game: 1. St. Peter's (373), 2. St. Francis Brooklyn (505), 3. Sacred Heart (516)

Comment: How does a team that finished a respectable 14-17 check in last in attendance in Division I and well behind any of the other contenders? Perhaps St. Peter's needs a better marketing approach or maybe it was just more honest than its small-conference peers. 

Highest per-game attendance among non-power five conference schools: 1. Creighton (17,896), 2. Memphis (16,121), 3. BYU (15,875)

Comment: The same top three from the past two years in the same order. Marquette, New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State and Dayton also each drew more than 12,000 per game.

Lowest per-game attendance among power five conference schools: 1. Washington State (2,800), 2. Oregon State (3,946),  3. Boston College (4,007)

Comment: Is there any mystery why Ken Bone, Craig Robinson and Steve Donahue are out of work? Attendance can't dip to that extent without head coaches facing consequences. Andy Enfield isn't in danger yet after one year at USC despite the Trojans being the fourth worst, but he was hired in part to restore interest in basketball at the school. He'll need to make strides on the court and in the stands in the coming years.

Highest per-game attendance among non-Division I schools: 1. Northern State (3,383), 2. Dixie State (3,081), 3. Fort Hayes State (2,717)

Comment: The only change from last year is Fort Hayes State replacing Midwestern State at No. 3.

Largest average attendance increase from last year: 1. Nebraska (+5,067), Syracuse (+3,813), Virginia (+2,281)

Comment: Nebraska's massive increase was a result of the combination of its new building opening and the team making the NCAA tournament for the first time in two decades. Syracuse benefited from the move to the ACC and the push for an unbeaten season, while Virginia's rise can be attributed to its emergence as a surprise ACC contender.

Best average attendance per conference: 1. Big Ten (13,534), 2. ACC (10,661), 3. Big 12 (10,489)

Comment: Not only did the Big Ten top this category for a third straight season, it also set a record high for average conference attendance. The SEC was fourth in this category, while the Pac-12 was a distant eighth behind the Big East, American and Mountain West.

Best average attendance per non-power five conference: 1. Big East (9,711), 2. American (8,776), 3. Mountain West (7,730)

Comment: Expect the American's average to drop in the future with Louisville departing. The Mountain West once again edged the Pac-12, its major West Coast rival, though the margin shrunk considerably this year.

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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