Ashley Judd and Big Blue Nation topped college hoops in attendance again last season (Getty Images)
Despite a disappointing season that ended with a first-round NIT loss, Kentucky led the nation in average home attendance for the 17th time in 18 years at 23,099 fans per game. Syracuse and Louisville were second and third, just as they were the past three years.
Here's a look at some of the other attendance figures that stood out from the 2012-13 attendance report released by the NCAA:
• Highest per game attendance: 1. Kentucky (23,099), 2. Syracuse (22,439), 3. Louisville (21,571)
Comment: Those three are far and away the top drawing programs. North Carolina is the closest challenger at more than 2,000 fans per game less than Louisville.
• Lowest per game attendance: 1. NJIT (489), 2. Colgate (496) 3. Fairleigh Dickinson (574)
Comment: Poor NJIT actually increased from 461 fans per game in 2011-12 to 489 this past season, but fell from second-to-last to last in the Division I rankings because Chicago State's attendance surged to 811 fans per game.
• Highest per-game attendance among non-BCS-conference schools: 1. Creighton (17,155), 2. Memphis (16,336), 3. BYU (15,986)
Comment: The same top three as last year, and all three increased their average attendance. Mountain West powers UNLV and New Mexico each ranked in the top 20 nationally as well.
• Lowest per-game attendance among BCS-conference schools: 1. USC (4,243), 2. Boston College (4,244), 3. Stanford (4,530)
Comment: Three of the bottom four came from the Pac-12 as Oregon State checked in fourth-to-last at 4,784. USC should get a boost next season from new coach Andy Enfield's fast-paced style, but it's not a great sign for Johnny Dawkins' job security beyond this season that Stanford's crowd support has fallen to this level.
• Highest per-game attendance among non-Division I schools: 1. Northern State (3,199), 2. Dixie State (2,902), 3. Midwestern State (2,633)
Comment: The only change in the top three from last year is Dixie State replacing Hope at No. 2
• Largest average attendance increase from last year: 1. UCLA (+3,196), 2. North Carolina State (+2,739), 3. Colorado (+2,589)
Comment: UCLA's increase was a product of the opening of new Pauley Pavilion and poor numbers from the previous season when the Bruins played at the decrepit Los Angeles Sports Arena. Georgia Tech also received a bump from its new arena, checking in No. 4 in this category.
• Best average attendance per conference: 1. Big Ten (13,114), 2. Big East (10,699) 3. Southeastern (10,571)
Comment: The Big Ten topped this category in 2012 yet still increased by 246 fans per game during the 2012-13 season. That's no surprise considering the league had seven teams ranked in the top 25 at various points in the season.
• Best average attendance per non-BCS conference: 1. Mountain West (8,720), 2. Missouri Valley (7,270), 3. Atlantic 10 (5,974)
Comment: The Mountain West once again edged the Pac-12 in attendance, averaging just over 1,000 fans per game more than its main West Coast rival. UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State shouldered most of that, each drawing more than 12,000 fans per game.
- Sports & Recreation