Men's hoops sees nation's fifth-highest attendance increase

BY IAN MARTIN | APRIL 28, 2011 7:20 AM

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Hawkeye men's basketball improved not only in record last season — its first under head coach Fran McCaffery — but also the attendence in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

In fact, Iowa saw the fifth-highest average attendance increase in the country, and it was first in the Big Ten in improved attendance.

The empty seats in Carver decreased by an average of 2,085 people per game, putting Iowa's average attendance at 11,635 fans per game — which ranked 31st nationally.

The Hawkeyes had the highest increase of any team to not make the NCAA Tournament; the four ahead of Iowa were Brigham Young, San Diego State, Louisville, and St. John's in that order.

The Big Ten, which also announced Wednesday that it led the NCAA in attendance for the 35th-consecutive season.

The Big Ten averaged 12,826 fans per home game, and it had seven teams in the top 25 nationally in average attendance. Iowa was not one of those seven teams, but the increase is promising.

McCaffery hopes the upward trend will continue in 2011-12.

"We look forward to building on last year and seeing even more fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena next season," he said in a release.

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