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Basketball attendance among Big East’s lowest

Nearly halfway through the conference schedules of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, both team’s attendance hovers near the bottom of the Big East.

Last weekend, No. 3 Syracuse hosted No. 7 Villanova and nearly broke its own national attendance record for an on-campus basketball game.

According to, 33,736 people crammed into the Carrier Dome to watch Villanova take down the Orange.

Yet, when Villanova visited the Sun Dome on Jan. 6, only 4,510 people were in attendance, according to the official number presented by USF Athletics. That number is the high-water mark for attendance at a men’s basketball game this season.

The men’s team is averaging 3,307 people per game, through 10 of its 16 home dates this season. That number places USF dead last in the conference and more than 1,500 people behind Rutgers, which is one spot ahead of USF in 15th place.

The women’s basketball team has also struggled with attendance, averaging 1,196 people per game through Jan. 25. Although women’s basketball typically sees far fewer fans than men’s, the team’s average places 11th in the Big East ahead of Cincinnati, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova. Providence’s average attendance is the lowest in the league, with just 249 people per game. Attendance for Tuesday night’s USF game against Seton Hall was only 521 people.

Renovations designed to make the spectator experience in the Sun Dome more enjoyable are scheduled for completion by this time next year. The facility’s renovations, along with the construction of the Pam and Les Muma Basketball Center, are expected to give USF coaches a boost in recruiting, in hopes that the teams will become more competitive in the basketball-rich Big East.

The conference currently has seven teams in the men’s AP Top 25, with Cincinnati and West Virginia sitting just outside of the poll, ranked 26th, and 28th, respectively. On the women’s side, the Big East has five teams in the AP Top 25.