Kentucky proves in numbers what we already know: it has the most devoted fan base in college basketball.
The NCAA on Wednesday released the attendance figures across college basketball for the 2015-16 season. Kentucky, by a considerable margin, had the most total fans and most fans per game in attendance. Syracuse finished second, Louisville third and North Carolina fourth.
Villanova, which won the national championship, finished 59th. But the Wildcats played a majority of their home games at the Pavilion, which seats approximately 6,500. A much smaller number compared to other programs in major conferences.
Here's the top 10, with total tickets sold and the average per game.
- Kentucky (17 games: 397,148/23,361)
- Syracuse (17 games: 367,068/21,592)
- Louisville (19 games: 396,333/20,859)
- North Carolina (16 games: 293,219/18,326)
- Maryland (17 games: 303,676/17,863)
- Wisconsin (18 games: 311,166/17,287)
- Indiana (17 games: 290,809/17,106)
- North Carolina State (18 games: 301,646/16,758)
- Kansas (17 games: 279,412/16,436)
- Creighton (19 games: 302,887/15,941)
The schools with the biggest bump in attendance last season: Maryland, Alabama, LSU, Little Rock and Vanderbilt. Three of those five (Maryland, UALR, Vandy) made the NCAA Tournament.
Conference-wise, this is the top 10.
- Big Ten (12,555 average)
- Southeastern (11,144)
- Atlantic Coast (11,131)
- Big 12 (10,124)
- Big East (9,595)
- Pacific-12 (7.731)
- Mountain West (7,162)
- American Athletic (6,250)
- Missouri V alley (5,051)
- Atlantic (4,852)
The NCAA notes attendance this season was down by an average of 25 fans per game (not a huge drop-off). How many fans paid to watch men's basketball last season? More than 32 million. To be precise, the number is 32,382,283 across Divisions I, II and III. It is a top-10 year in NCAA history in attendance. D-I was responsible for 27.2 million of those fans.
Looking for your school or conference? It's right here. Embedded is the NCAA's complete report for 2015-16 attendance figures and facts.