The NCAA released attendance figures for Men's Basketball today, and although you have to take them with a grain of salt like football attendance, it's still interesting to see the final numbers. There were a few surprises this year and almost some non-surprises.
Here is how the MAC, which ranked 13th overall as a conference in average attendance (out of 32 conferences), stacked up:
|Ranking||School||Avg. Attendance||Total Capacity||Avg. % of Capacity|
Obviously Ohio takes the cake (like they do every year), which is a bit of a shock after last season saw the young Bobcats win just ten games. OU placed 75th nationally in men's basketball attendance, right ahead of Baylor, Texas Tech, Washington and Gonzaga. Toledo also had a strong showing, landing just outside the top 100.
Central Michigan's rise on the court paid dividends off of it as well, as the Chips had the 24th highest attendance increase in Division 1 last year. Attendance improved by an average of 1,015 fans per game, which is really impressive.
Western Michigan's attendance figure is a bit surprising; you would think they would average more. But, when you look at their non-conference home opponents - Aquinas, Drake, Alabama A&M, New Hampshire and Rochester College - the number makes a little bit of sense.
The schools at the bottom are of no surprise, but it's good to see Northern Illinois start to move up a little bit. I feel like not much else can be said about Eastern Michigan attendance, so I'll just leave it at that.
I included the capacity percentages to give a little bit more color to the story. I think that it tells a little more than just the average amount of people that came to the game. In my opinion, it's more impressive to me that Toledo was able to fill Savage Arena to a nearly 70% capacity on average than Ohio having the highest mark in the conference.
All in all, a pretty solid job MAC fans.