A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK basketball leads NCAA attendance nationally — for 19th time — but BIG 10 conference leads

For the 19th time in the last 22 years, Kentucky led the nation in attendance in men’s basketball.

The Wildcats attracted an average of 23,461 fans per game last year and has ranked first or second in the nation in attendance since Rupp Arena opened during the 1976-77 season. According to figures released by the NCAA Tuesday, 398,850 fans attended 17 home games last year. A total of 706,331 fans watched the Wildcats play at home, road and neutral sites last year.

Syracuse followed the Wildcats as 444,809 in attendance at the Carrier Dome during the school’s 21 home encounters last year.

The Big Ten was the conference leader last year as 3,119,823 fans attended conference and non-conference games, the most in conference history. The Southeastern Conference was third with 31,859,477 fans attending contests all all member institutions.

The Kentucky women’s basketball team averaged 5.213 fans per game last year and finished 14th nationally. The Wildcats attracted 104,252 fans during all 20 home games, including one encounter at Rupp Arena. A total of 177,477 patrons watched the Wildcats play last year.

The SEC paced the nation in overall attendance with 966,639 fans attending its games.

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