Many thanks to our own John Taylor for passing along this link - it is a phenomenal breakdown of the NCAA attendance numbers for 2011. It's an interesting number to look at, because you can get a wide picture of who the most heavily-followed programs in the country are. Unfortunately the list is only the Top 100 - I really wanted to see who was at the bottom of the barrel.
Of course, stadium size plays a huge role, but from this you can at least tell who's putting asses in the seats and who's got a classic Orange Bowl 'Orange-Out' going on.
Your Villanova Wildcats came in at 38th nationally with a total attendance of 178,692, or an average attendance of 10,511 in 17 home games. Those figures are certainly helped by the fact that 'Nova was able to play a handful of games at The Wells Fargo Center this year.
We're going to take a look at the Big East as a whole after The Jump.
The rankings below are national, but they are listed in order of finish in the Big East. We're also only covering those who finished in the Top 50 nationally, frankly because they're getting some games in stadiums that can actually hold over 10,000 fans.
#2 Syracuse Orange - 423,924 - 22,312 - 19 games
#3 Louisville Cardinals - 458,463 - 21,832 - 21 games
#11 Marquette Golden Eagles - 280,545 - 15,586 - 18 games
#25 Georgetown Hoyas - 177,448 - 12,675 - 14 games
#32 Connecticut Huskies - 196,671 - 11,569 - 17 games
#38 Villanova Wildcats - 178,692 - 10,511 - 17 games
It's no surprise that 'Cuse is that high considering they play at The Carrier Dome. Louisville shocked me a little until I remembered how crazy they are for their basketball, and that they just tore down Freedom Hall do make a stadium shaped like The Colonel (or it's named after KFC, I forget).
I think Marquette was the biggest shock in the Big East - to my knowledge The Bradley Center only holds a little over 11K, so they must have played some 'home' games at other arenas, though for the life of me I don't remember that.
Georgetown, UConn and 'Nova are aided by the fact that they are getting games at The Verizon Center, The XL Center, and The Well, respectively.
As a conference, the Big East finished 2nd behind the Big Ten (12,826) with an average attendance of 11,323.
Be sure to take a look at the 2010 NCAA basketball attendance numbers as well. Oddly enough, Villanova finished 38th last year as well, although they increased their overall and average attendance this past season - presumably because they played more games at The Wells Fargo Center.