Villanova ranked 48th in NCAA Basketball attendance

Mitchell Leff

The NCAA published their 2014 Division I basketball attendance figures and Villanova was 48th out of 345 schools participating in the top division.

Villanova put 143,092 butts in the seats in their sixteen home games in 2014 for an average of 8,943 fans per game, allowing the Wildcats to claim the honor of averaging more fans than the Pavilion can reasonably hold. The Wells Fargo Center, of course, holds up to 20,328 patrons (and can hold more with standing room), and the games there can boost the 'Cats attendance averages significantly.

For the 2014 season, those numbers place Villanova at 48th among the 345 schools in Division I and represent a modest increase of 922 more fans-per-game than in the 2012-13 season.

Former Big East rivals Syracuse took the top spot for attendance, averaging over 26 thousand fans in their inaugural ACC season, increasing their average by 3,813 fans-per-game.

The Big East did rather well in attendance after the brand and league rebooted, with a total attendance of 1,660,570 and an average of 9,711, the conference ranked 5th among the Division I leagues. The conference was led by its newest member Creighton, who packed an average of 17,104 fans into the stands this season. Marquette and Xavier were also in the top-50 for attendance, checking in at 14th and 42nd, respectively, while Georgetown was just a little-bit-outside, at number-51 on the list. All of the league's member's were in the top-100 schools listed by the NCAA.

Seton Hall had the lowest attendance in the Big East, averaging 6,336 fans -- just 27 fewer per-game than DePaul, who finished a spot ahead of them.

Finishing ahead of the Big East were the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and SEC, in that order, all of whom averaged over 10,000 fans per game. The midwestern-based Big Ten Conference averaged a stunning 13,534 fans per game, almost 3,000 more than the number-two ACC. The American -- led by Louisville -- was sixth in attendance during the season.

Villanova's attendance increase over the previous season was the 17th-best in Division I, and it was the only Big East school to make the top-25 in that category.

Overall, the Big East did rather well for attendance in its first season of play. While only Villanova and Creighton were along the top-30 in attendance gains, the league overall drew a very strong number of fans relative to the major football conferences; all of it despite lacking the exposure of an ESPN television contract. The figures also don't factor in neutral-site contests, which are becoming more popular for games between big-name programs.

For Villanova, the attendance figure also shows that the interest is there for fans, despite the league changes. With only five or fewer games played off-campus at the Wells Fargo Center, the Wildcats still manage to draw an average significantly in excess of the Pavilion's current capacity.

That figure would also suggest that the Wildcats could benefit from a larger facility on-campus, especially with attendance growing in-spite of the Big East's massive changes. In fact, a new building could help to increase attendance at games, as it appears to have done for "Nebrasketball" -- who topped the list for average attendance increase this year.

2013-14 NCAA Basketball Attendance Figures

Rank School Games Attendance Average
1 Syracuse 18 472,550 26,253
2 Kentucky 18 413,350 22,964
3 Louisville 18 383,070 21,282
4 North Carolina 18 324,458 18,025
5 Creighton 16 286,329 17,896
6 Indiana 18 312,453 17,359
7 Wisconsin 17 290,773 17,104
8 Ohio St. 20 329,481 16,474
9 Kansas 16 262,993 16,437
10 Memphis 18 290,183 16,121
11 BYU 15 238,131 15,875
12 Tennessee 17 263,070 15,475
13 Nebraska 16 246,702 15,419
14 Marquette 16 245,232 15,327
15 Illinois 16 243,931 15,246
16 New Mexico 15 228,176 15,212
17 Iowa 17 254,588 14,976
18 MichiganSt. 16 236,752 14,797
19 Arizona 18 258,749 14,375
20 Iowa St. 16 227,079 14,192
21 Arkansas 20 280,465 14,023
22 UNLV 20 262,501 13,125
23 Purdue 17 216,553 12,738
24 Michigan 15 190,477 12,698
25 North Carolina State 19 240,182 12,641
26 Maryland 16 200,913 12,557
27 San Diego State 16 198,624 12,414
28 Dayton 17 209,369 12,316
29 KansasState 17 206,123 12,125
30 Virginia 17 198,631 11,684
31 Florida 17 195,013 11,471
32 Minnesota 21 236,345 11,255
33 Pittsburgh 18 198,078 11,004
34 Oklahoma 17 186,462 10,968
35 Alabama 17 182,825 10,754
36 Wichita State 17 182,452 10,732
37 Oklahoma State 16 166,354 10,397
38 Utah 20 206,212 10,311
39 Texas 18 183,350 10,186
40 UConn 18 182,416 10,134
41 South Carolina 16 161,177 10,074
42 Xavier 17 168,127 9,890
43 Utah State 18 176,928 9,829
44 Colorado 18 173,429 9,635
45 Vanderbilt 16 152,539 9,534
46 Duke 17 158,338 9,314
47 Wake Forest 18 162,005 9,000
48 Villanova 16 143,092 8,943
49 LSU 16 142,567 8,910
50 Missouri 19 168,271 8,856
51 Georgetown 16 138,724 8,670
52 West Virginia 17 146,091 8,594
53 Cincinnati 19 162,771 8,567
54 Saint Louis 17 143,278 8,428
55 Notre Dame 19 158,945 8,366
56 Providence 16 133,548 8,347
57 UCLA 18 146,455 8,136
58 UTEP 21 169,851 8,088
59 Butler 15 116,816 7,788
60 Oregon 18 140,085 7,783
61 California 19 147,318 7,754
62 VCU 15 116,115 7,741
63 Texas Tech 17 130,145 7,656
64 Clemson 19 142,231 7,486
65 Ole Miss 17 124,583 7,328
66 St. John's (NY) 19 133,689 7,036
67 Mississippi St. 18 123,743 6,875
68 Weber St. 16 109,340 6,834
69 Boise St. 16 108,957 6,810
70 Baylor 17 115,696 6,806
71 Fresno St. 19 128,737 6,776
72 Northwestern 17 114,215 6,719
73 Arizona St. 17 113,680 6,687
74 Bradley 17 112,335 6,608
75 Georgia Tech 17 111,926 6,584
76 Washington 18 118,469 6,582
77 Massachusetts 13 85,069 6,544
78 Nevada 15 96,997 6,466
79 Hawaii 19 121,915 6,417
80 DePaul 17 108,178 6,363
81 Seton Hall 18 114,056 6,336
82 Florida St. 17 106,849 6,285
83 Penn St. 18 112,625 6,257
84 Georgia 18 110,512 6,140
85 Ohio 21 128,602 6,124
86 Richmond 16 97,632 6,102
87 Gonzaga 15 90,000 6,000
88 Temple 14 83,485 5,963
89 New Mexico State 15 89,224 5,948
90 Indiana St. 13 77,300 5,946
91 Auburn 18 104,815 5,823
92 Old Dominion 18 104,008 5,778
93 Miami (FL) 16 92,424 5,777
94 Siena 19 108,424 5,707
95 SMU 19 107,412 5,653
96 UCF 17 90,067 5,298
97 Southern Ill 14 73,126 5,223
98 Missouri St. 17 88,690 5,217
99 Texas A&M 20 104,325 5,216
100 Wyoming 18 92,716 5,151
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