Syracuse is college basketball's attendance kings for the second straight year.
The Orange edged Kentucky and Louisville for the crown, drawing an average of 23,854 fans a game despite an uncharacteristically mediocre season and a self-imposed postseason ban. The Wildcats were second at 23,572 fans per game and the Cardinals were third at 21,386.
The NCAA released its entire attendance report from the 2014-15 college basketball season Monday. Here's a look at some of the stats that stand out:
• Highest attendance per game: 1. Syracuse (23,854), 2. Kentucky (23,572), 3. Louisville (21,386)
Comment: Syracuse's two-year run as average attendance leaders is notable because Kentucky had long been the kings in that category. Before the 2013-14 season, the Wildcats finished No. 1 in 17 of the previous 18 years.
• Lowest attendance per game: 1. Grambling (305), 2. St. Peter's (442), 3. Chicago State (477)
Comment: How did Grambling manage to draw smaller crowds than most high school teams last season? It had a lot to do with the product the Tigers put out on the floor. They went 2-27 with their lone two wins of the season coming against lower-division Lyon College and Selma University.
• Highest per-game attendance among non-power five conference schools: 1. Creighton (17,048), 2. BYU (16,125), 3. New Mexico (14,571)
Comment: It's impressive that Creighton and Nebraska drew so well considering neither was remotely close to contending for an NCAA tournament bid last season. It's also telling that Memphis fell out of the top three. The Tigers' attendance declined from 16,121 in 2013-14 (No. 9) to 13,915 in 2014-15 (No. 22).
• Lowest per-game attendance among power five conference schools: 1. Washington State (3,190), 2. USC (3,552), 3. TCU (4,123)
Comment: It has to be alarming for Washington State to be last for a second straight year despite making a coaching change in between. USC also can't be thrilled to be in the bottom five for a second straight year when coach Andy Enfield 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 (3,402), 2. Augustana (2,697) 3. Fort Hayes State (2,656)
Comment: The only change from last year is Augustana replacing Dixie State in the top three.
• Largest average attendance increase from last year: 1. NC State (+2,795), 2. Auburn (+2002), 3. Virginia (+1,978)
Comment: Virginia's second consecutive appearance in the top three in this category is a result of its rise in the ACC pecking order under Tony Bennett. Auburn's appearance is undoubtedly a product of the Bruce Pearl effect as the Tigers enjoyed an attendance surge in his first year on the job.
• Best average attendance per conference: 1. Big Ten (12,781), 2. ACC (11,368), 3. SEC (10,819)
Comment: The Big Ten topped this category for a fourth straight year despite the addition of basketball-bereft Rutgers, but the ACC closed the gap considerably. The Big 12 was fourth in this category, followed by the Big East and Pac-12.
• Highest attendance in all games (home, road and neutral): 1. Kentucky (845,594), 2. Wisconsin (711,115), 3. Duke (664,146)
Comment: Duke's appearance speaks to how big a draw the Blue Devils are when they're away from home. Cameron Indoor Stadium seats less than 10,000 fans, so they're not getting the same bump from home games that some of the other top programs are.