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UK leads nation in basketball attendance

Men’s basketball attendance for all three NCAA divisions in 2011-12 totaled 32,781,399 fans, which represents a slight increase from the previous year and ranks fifth all-time. The record is 33,396,316 from the 2008 season.

The Big Ten Conference led the nation for the 36th consecutive year in conference attendance. With the addition of Nebraska, the Big Ten’s 12 teams totaled a league-high 2,856,785 fans and averaged 12,868 per game.

For the seventh straight year and for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons, Kentucky led the nation in home attendance average at 23,721 fans per game. Syracuse was second at 23,618. One of those two schools has led the nation in each of the past 36 seasons.

Playing one more home game than Kentucky, Syracuse took advantage of 19 home games to lead the nation in total home attendance with 448,736 fans. Next was Louisville (430,052 in 20 games), Kentucky (426,978 in 18), North Carolina (362,867 in 18), Ohio State (330,210 in 20), and Memphis (324,670 in 20).

For all-game attendance – including home, road and neutral site games – national-champion Kentucky broke a 23-year-old mark as 885,953 fans watched the Wildcats over 40 games. The former record was held by Syracuse with 855,053 fans in 1989. Nine teams played in front more than half-a-million fans in 2012.

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