Indiana ranked first among Big Ten teams in men's basketball attendance last season and fifth overall in the nation, according to a release put out by the Big Ten on Wednesday.
In fact, IU's season average of 17,412 fans for 19 home games last season set a new Indiana record. The old record was 17,148 in the 2001-02 season, the year that IU went to the national championship game and played Maryland.
Indiana's official seating capacity at Assembly Hall is 17,472.
In a press release put out by the Indiana media relations department, IU athletic director Fred Glass talked about the significance of IU's fan support.
"With all the great teams that have played in Assembly Hall, this is a wonderful tribute to coach Tom Crean and a group of young men who have helped bring back a historic college basketball program on so many levels,'' Glass said in the release. "I'm so proud of Hoosier Nation. Our fans supported the program through difficult times and have always played a maor role in its success through the years.''
According to the IU release, it also marked just the second time since 1985 that IU had ranked among the top five programs in the country in attendance and the first since 2002. This was also the first time that IU had led the Big Ten, which led conferences in the nation in attendance (13,114), since that same season.
"I continue to be overwhelmed by the spirit and generosity of so many who support our program every day," said Head Coach Tom Crean. "Our season ticket holders are as loyal a group as you will find. You really had a sense early in the season that our players had forged a strong bond with our fans, young and old alike. That was very evident starting with Hoosier Hysteria, the North Carolina game and all of the great battles we had during the Big Ten season."
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