Iowa, ISU attendance among nation’s best

The Hawks’ Nest was full once again.

The University of Iowa men’s basketball team ranked 21st in average attendance among NCAA Division I programs, according to figures released Wednesday by the NCAA.

The Hawkeyes, in the third season under head coach Fran McCaffery, averaged 13,625 fans per game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, putting Iowa just past Iowa State on this year’s list.

The Cyclones, with a 13,393 average attendance, ranked 22nd.

“I was so excited to see Carver-Hawkeye Arena full and alive again,” said UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta. “I’m happy for our student-athletes, I’m happy for Fran and his coaches, and I’m happy for our fans.”

Kentucky led the nation at 23,099, better than 100 percent of the Wildcats’ home venue capacity. Rupp Arena seats 23,000 fans.

Iowa State averaged more than 13,000 fans for the third time since 1993 and the second straight season. The Cyclones filled up Hilton Coliseum at a 93.1 percent rate, which ranked 11th nationally, while Iowa filled up Carver-Hawkeye at an 88 percent-per-game average.

The Hawkeyes went 18-2 at home, a school record for home wins in a season. Six home games were sellouts.

The Big Ten Conference led the nation in home attendance (13,114) for the 37th straight season. More than 2.9 million fans watched Big Ten games in person.

Iowa was one of seven Big Ten schools to secure a spot in the top 25, behind No. 5 Indiana (17,412), No. 7 Wisconsin (16,843), No. 9 Ohio State (16,524), No. 17 Illinois (15,013) and No. 18 Michigan State (14,341), and ahead of No. 23 Minnesota (12,580).

Iowa posted a 25-13 overall record, matching its second-highest win total in school history, while advancing to the National Invitation Tournament title game.

Iowa State finished 23-12 overall, including 16-1 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones recorded six sellouts last season.