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Analyzing 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Attendance And The Big Finish

Brian: The NCAA recently crunched the numbers on this year's 2011-12 NCAA Men's Basketball season. Boston College finished the year with a total attendance figure of 79,885 over 17 home games for an average of 4,699 a game. That was 11th best in the conference ahead of only Miami. BC was one of only three ACC programs to finish outside of the top 100 nationally.

These rankings are strongly correlated to arena capacity. North Carolina, N.C. State, Maryland and Virginia run 1-4 on this year's average attendance list. They also run 1-4 on the conference's arena capacity list. Similarly, Georgia Tech (10th), BC (11th) and Miami (last) have the three smallest arenas in the conference, in order.

The BC basketball team did not have a good season so the Eagles low average shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.

ACC Nat'l Rank Program G Total Avg.
1 4 North Carolina Tar Heels 18 362,867 20,159
2 20 N.C. State Wolfpack 19 257,638 13,560
3 22 Maryland Terrapins 17 224,090 13,182
4 36 Virginia Cavaliers 16 168,349 10,522
5 42 Duke Blue Devils 16 149,024 9,314
6 48 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 16 138,802 8,675
7 51 Florida St. Seminoles 17 145,189 8,541
8 56 Virginia Tech Hokies 18 151,113 8,395
9 64 Clemson Tigers 16 125,249 7,828
10 NR Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 15 73,933 4,929
11 NR Boston College Eagles 17 79,885 4,699
12 NR Miami Hurricanes 18 70,854 3,936

As a conference, the ACC averaged 9,876 fans a game, good for fifth best among all Division I conferences and behind the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and Big East. Overall, average per-game attendance dipped slightly year over year, for a delta of -390. Of the six major conferences, only the Big East (-442) and the Pac-12 (-665) saw a bigger dip in attendance, while the Big 12 (+341), SEC (+325) and Big Ten (42) all gained.

What do you make of the conferences' dip in per-game attendance in 2011-12, and do you expect it to rebound this season?

Jeff: I absolutely think the conference will rebound some with some of the programs towards the bottom of the list pulling back up in the future. Georgia Tech did not play their games on campus this season and played in the Atlanta Hawks Arena instead. Attendance was terrible for their games but they will probably have great success once their renovations are complete. Duke and North Carolina are going to have great attendance numbers next season regardless of whether or not they are in a national title hunt. Meanwhile, BC, Georgia Tech and Clemson can see huge increases in attendance with some more success on the court. If they leagues gets back to having six or more teams in the NCAA tournament, attendance will follow.

Big Finish

Brian: As someone with household ties to the Clemson Tigers, the idea of Clemson to the Big 12? A good one, or a terrible one?

Jeff: It would be OK. Exciting for the first few years then geographically inconvenient.

Jeff: BC lost at home to Fordham in the first of its two game series but remain very much alive for the ACC tournament. Are you surprised how bad they have been out of conference this season?

Brian: Not as surprised about that as I am about how bad they were on the road in ACC play.

Brian: Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician is loving the idea of Boston College-Syracuse to end the regular season every year. Your thoughts?

Jeff: I would love that also.

Jeff: Does landing ND transfer Alex Dragicevich leave you more optimistic about the future of our basketball program?

Brian: I love the pickup but I'm also pretty worried about scholarship management.

Brian: When the ACC's new Friday night football deal kicks in, what percentage of BC home games will be played on non-Saturday dates in the first year of the agreement?

Jeff: One.

Jeff: The Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. Will we see any more Kreider magic in the conference finals?

Brian: He didn't have a great Quarterfinals series against the Caps overall.

Brian: Last one. As part of ESPN's new contract with the conference, the WWL can sell title sponsor rights to the ACC Tournament. Fill in the blank. The _______ ACC Men's Basketball Tournament.

Jeff: Chick-Fil-A, Food Lion, BMW, RBC and Under Armour are my top guesses right now.