The NCAA’s statistics on men’s college basketball attendance were released Monday, and the ACC had three of the top four schools as well as the school with the biggest increase from 2013-14 to 2014-15.
For the second consecutive year, Syracuse topped the list, with an average of 23,854 fans attending the team’s home games at the Carrier Dome. Kentucky (23,572) was second, followed by Louisville (21,386) – which just finished its first season in the ACC – and North Carolina (19,582).
N.C. State was 12th on the list, with average attendance of 15,436, but the Wolfpack had the largest increase from the previous year, when 12,641 fans on average attended home games at PNC Arena.
Although overall attendance across all schools decreased slightly, the number of fans attending the NCAA tournament increased.
“NCAA Division I games were attended by over 27 million fans for the ninth consecutive year, and March Madness was experienced by the third highest fan attendance in history for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president for men’s basketball championships, said in a statement.
Other ACC programs appearing in the top 50 were Virginia, which ranked 23rd with an average attendance of 13,656, Wake Forest, which ranked 43rd, and Duke, which continued its tradition of averaging 9,314 fans filling Cameron Indoor Stadium and was ranked 47th. The Cavaliers had the third-largest increase in attendance for the second straight year and claimed their second consecutive ACC regular season crown under head coach Tony Bennett.
As a conference, the ACC ranked second in fan attendance (11,368) behind the Big Ten (12,781) for the second consecutive year, but had the most well-attended conference tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum. Before Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse joined the conference in 2013, the ACC ranked fifth among all conferences with an average attendance of 9,990. Last year the conference had an average of 11,368 fans at home games.
A common trend for the ACC’s top schools for fan attendance was hosting Duke, as Syracuse, North Carolina, N.C. State and Louisville all sold out their respective arenas for nationally televised Saturday contests against the Blue Devils.