More Attendance Stuff

By - June 04, 2007

Last Thursday as LeBron was smoking the Pistons like a Polish kielbasa, I embraced my inner Harvey Pollack and started playing with the figures in the NCAA men's basketball attendance report that was the subject of my column from this past week.

I started by creating a spreadsheet which calculated the attendance rate -- as defined by a team's average attendance divided by its arena capacity -- for each of the 336 schools in Division I. (And, yes, I dutifully took into account those teams which split their home games between two arenas.) These results were interesting enough:

* Eight schools reported perfect (or better) attendance rates.

School Capacity (Arena) Reported Attendance Attendance Rate
Gonzaga 6,000 (McCarthey Athletic Center) 6,406 106.8%
Creighton 15,500 (Qwest Center Omaha) 15,909 102.6%
Kentucky 23,000 (Rupp Arena) 23,421 101.8%
Wisconsin 17,142 (Kohl Center) 17,190 101.8%
Kansas 16,300 (Allen Fieldhouse) 16,300 100.0%
Michigan State 14,759 (Breslin Center) 14,759 100.0%
Duke 9,314 (Cameron Indoor Stadium) 9,314 100.0%
Georgia Tech 9,191 (Alexander Memorial Coliseum) 9,191 100.0%

* The lowest attendance rate of any school which advanced to postseason play belonged to Sun Belt tournament champion North Texas, which averaged 2,067 fans to their 16 games at the 10,032-seat Super Pit -- a modest 20.6 percent clip.

* The two postseason teams with the lowest attendance rates among the BCS-conference schools each advanced to the Sweet 16 or beyond: Southern California (56.5 percent) and Georgetown (56.5 percent).

But the meat and potatoes of the experiment came when I decided to create a ranking of the most underappreciated programs in major college basketball, as measured by the simple index of a team's winning percentage divided by its attendance rate. It's a fun list in spite of its unscientific nature and I'll be posting the results this afternoon so be sure to check back.

Posted by at 10:53 AM on June 04, 2007

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