IOWA CITY — The Iowa and Iowa State men’s basketball teams parlayed NCAA tournament seasons into stout attendance numbers for the 2013-14 season.
Iowa, which advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006, ranked 17th nationally, averaging 14,976 fans per game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It was the Hawkeyes’ best average and ranking since 2002 (15,207, 12th overall).
Iowa State, which won the Big 12 Tournament title and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, rated 20th overall with 14,192 fans per game at Hilton Coliseum. It was the Cyclones’ highest ranking since 1993 and it was the second-highest home attendance in Iowa State history. The Cyclones averaged 14,238 fans in 1988.
The Hawkeyes posted the ninth-largest increase nationally, averaging 1,351 more fans per home game than in 2012-13. Big Ten member Nebraska, which opened its new Pinnacle Bank Arena and qualified for its first NCAA tournament since 1998, led the nation with a whopping increase of 5,067 fans per game. ISU ranked 21st in largest increase at 799 more fans per home game.
The Big Ten led the nation in average attendance for the 38th consecutive season. Big Ten schools averaged 13,534 fans per game, nearly 3,000 more fans per home than the runner-up ACC (10,661). The Big 12 was third at 10.489 fans per home game and the SEC fourth at 10,353. Seven Big Ten squads finished in the top 18 and nine were in the top 25.
Indiana led the Big Ten and was sixth overall at 17,359 fans per game. Wisconsin was seventh (17,104) and Ohio State was eighth (16,474). Other Big Ten teams include: 13. Nebraska (15,469); 15. Illinois (15,246); 17. Iowa (14,976); 18. Michigan State (14,797); 23. Purdue (12,738); 24. Michigan (12,698); 32. Minnesota (11,255); 72. Northwestern (6,719); Penn State (6,257). Incoming member Maryland was 26th (12,557). Rutgers, which also joins the Big Ten in two weeks, averaged 4,425 and ranked 114th in home attendance.
Northern Iowa averaged 4,693 fans at the McLeod Center, while Drake had 3,726 at the Knapp Center. The Missouri Valley Conference ranked ninth among conferences at 5,599 fans per game.
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