March 5, 2012
The Tennessee basketball team averaged 17,411 fans per home game this season, which ranks fifth in the nation. The Volunteers have now extended their streak of consecutive seasons of top-five attendance to seven years.
Kentucky, Syracuse, Louisville and North Carolina finished first to fourth, respectively. Nearly 300,000 fans poured through the gates of Thompson-Boling Arena, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this season. Those 295,994 Orange-clad fans helped the Vols to a 14-3 overall home record, including an impressive 7-1 mark in conference play.
The home-court advantage made a difference for the Vols, whose average margin of victory at home was 10.7 points. Big home wins are nothing new on Rocky Top, and this season was no exception as Tennessee defeated SEC foe Florida 67-56, defending national champion UConn 60-57, and in-state rival Vanderbilt 68-61. The Vols will carry a seven-game home win streak into next season.
UT boasted three crowds larger than 20,000 this season, including an over-capacity crowd of 22,172 for the home-finale win over Vanderbilt Saturday. Tennessee has played in front of 48 home crowds of 20,000 or larger dating to the 2005-06 season.
Counting combined average attendance figures for both men's and women's basketball, Tennessee ranks second nationally this season behind only Louisville.
The Lady Vols averaged 14,414 fans this season, which was tops in the women's game.