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Big Ten leads nation in basketball attendance…again

What else is new? The Big Ten conference led all D1 conferences in basketball attendance last season…again.

You know it, and I know it — when it come to attendance, the Big Ten rules the college basketball roost.

On Tuesday, the official college basketball attendance numbers came in and for the 41st straight season the B1G came out No. 1 in the country.

The Wisconsin Badgers led the way for the conference, coming in at No. 6 in the nation. However, the league put over half of its 14 schools inside the top 25 for attendance.

Here is a look at where everyone ranked:

  • No. 6 — Wisconsin (17,286)
  • No. 7 — Maryland (16,628)
  • No. 9 — Indiana (16,363)
  • No. 11 — Nebraska (15,427)
  • No. 13 — Michigan State (14,797)
  • No. 18 — Purdue (13,819)
  • No. 23 — Iowa (12,547)
  • No. 24 — Ohio State (12,324)
  • No. 30 — Illinois (11,381)
  • No. 33 — Michigan (11,121)
  • No. 37 — Minnesota (10,308)

Nebraska’s total is perhaps the most surprising given its outpost as the Western-most school and the horrific season that was had by the Huskers. But, a new arena and some potential apparently has sparked plenty of people to Pinnacle Bank Arena in downtown Lincoln, Neb.

Minnesota ranking at the bottom is also surprising, given the Gophers’ surprise run to the NCAA tournament after sitting at the bottom of the Big Ten standings just one season earlier. It’s also surprising because it is nearly 4,000 below the Williams Arena capacity.

Also of note was the first season of the Big Ten tournament in Washington, D.C. and it seems like that was a pretty big hit. Those games drew an average crowd of 12,235 fans a contest.

Sure, they were down from previous years in Chicago and Indianapolis, but those were encouraging numbers in a new locale.

Overall, nothing should really be surprising as the Big Ten has long been one of the most well-attended conferences in terms of basketball. Having rich traditions like the one in the state of Indiana and basketball crazy crowds at Illinois, Wisconsin and the two Michigan schools has helped a lot too.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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