Lincoln – For the Nebraska men’s basketball program, the 2013-14 season was a record-setting one at the box office, as the Huskers enjoyed the largest average attendance increase in college basketball over the last seven years.
The Huskers ranked 13th in the final NCAA attendance rankings released Friday, averaging a school-record 15,419 fans per game as 246,702 fans saw Husker basketball during the first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska increased its average attendance by 5,067 fans per game in 2013-14, the largest single-season increase by a Division I program in men’s basketball since Virginia averaged 5,725 more fans per game during the 2006-07 season, its first season at John Paul Jones Arena. Nebraska’s attendance increase marks only the eighth time (by seven schools) where attendance has increased by more than 5,000 fans per game since the 1999-2000 season.
The 2013-14 season is also the highest Nebraska has been ranked in average attendance since the NCAA expanded the attendance list from 10 teams beginning with the 1977-78 season. NU’s previous best was 18th in 1978-79, and the Huskers had ranked in the top-20 three other times, most recently in 1993-94.
Nebraska broke its single-game attendance five times in 2013-14, capped by a school-record crowd of 15,998 against ninth-ranked Wisconsin in the regular-season finale on March 9. The Huskers easily shattered since-season records for both average attendance (13,537) and total attendance (213,715), both of which were set during the 1992-93 season.
Nebraska was one of seven Big Ten teams to rank in the top-18 nationally in average attendance. The Big Ten led the nation in average attendance for the 38th consecutive season with 13,354 fans per game, setting a record for the highest average attendance by any conference in NCAA history.
Reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year Tim Miles begins his third season at Nebraska after leading the Huskers to a 19-13 record and the school’s first NCAA appearance since 1998 last season. The Huskers return all five starters from a team that finished fourth in the Big Ten with an 11-7 Big Ten mark, including All-American candidate Terran Petteway, who averaged a Big Ten-high 18.1 points per game while adding 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Junior wing Shavon Shields also earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors after averaging 12.8 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds per contest. In all, the Huskers return over 80 percent of its scoring, including seven of its top eight scorers, and top-five rebounders from a year ago.