June 3, 2009
For the 33rd straight season, Big Ten men's basketball leads the nation in average attendance, according to numbers released by the NCAA. The Big Ten ranked first among all conferences with an average of 12,519 fans per game/session, which is nearly 900 more than the national runner-up (SEC, 11,625). The NCAA's final attendance numbers and rankings include both regular-season and conference tournament attendance.
The Big Ten also broke the two-million mark in total attendance for the 17th consecutive season as the conference welcomed 2,348,136 fans through the turnstiles in 188 regular season games for an average of 12,490 patrons per contest.
Individually, the Big Ten registered seven universities among the country's top 25 in average attendance. No other conference placed more than four teams among the top 25. Wisconsin led the Big Ten contingent, ranking sixth nationally with an average of 17,230 fans per game. A quad of four teams rank 13th through 16th in Illinois (15,499), Ohio State (15,462), Michigan State (14,759) and Indiana (14,331), respectively. Purdue (13,708) fills the No. 18 spot and Minnesota is ranked No. 23 (13,400).