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UK men's basketball leads nation in attendance

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MBSK 09_10 UK_UNC Web  30.jpgKentucky basketball fans have once again laid claim to having the most passionate fan base in college sports.

For the fifth consecutive season and the 14th time in the last 15 years, the UK men's basketball team led Division I in total home attendance and average home attendance. In 2009-10, 433,989 fans packed Rupp Arena in 18 home games, an average of 24,111 fans a game. Kentucky's total home attendance was the best for a school since Syracuse had 460,752 fans in the 1991-92 season.

Rupp Arena's capacity is listed at 23,000.

UK's average home attendance was nearly 2,000 more fans than second-place Syracuse, which averaged 22,152 fans per game. Louisville (19,397), Tennessee (19,168) and North Carolina (17,786) rounded out the top five averages.

Thanks to a 35-3 record, new head coach John Calipari and a star-studded freshman class, Kentucky's average attendance number rose from 22,554 in the 2009-10 season. This year's mark of 24,111 per game is the highest average mark in Division I basketball since Syracuse averaged 24,245 fans during the 1994-95 season.

UK also led all-game attendance -- including home, road and neutral-site games -- with 724,145 fans watching 38 Wildcat games.

A total of 27,539,459 fans, fourth all-time, saw NCAA Division I basketball this year, an average of 5,245 fans per game.

The Big Ten led the nation for the 34th consecutive year in conference attendance (12,591 average). The Southeastern Conference ranked second (11,770).

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