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Indiana University basketball sets attendance record

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Indiana University turned last season's basketball success into a record-setting season at the ticket office.

School officials announced Wednesday that the Hoosiers average attendance for 19 home games was 17,412 — breaking the previous mark of 17,148, set in 2001-02. Assembly Hall's official seating capacity is 17,472.

The Hoosiers ranked fifth in the nation with last season's average, marking the first time they were ranked in the top five since 2001-02 and only the second time since 1985.

"This is a wonderful tribute to coach Tom Crean and a group of young men who have helped bring back a historic college basketball program on so many levels," athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement released by the university. "I'm so proud of Hoosier Nation. Our fans supported the program through difficult times and have always played a major role."

Indiana has been one of the nation's leaders in attendance for decades. It has finished among the top 20 nationally every year since 1972.

Last season was a major milestone.

While the Hoosiers won their first outright Big Ten crown in two decades and spent much of the season ranked No. 1, they led the Big Ten in attendance for the first time since 2001-02. The Big Ten was ranked No. 1 in the nation among conferences.

The Hoosiers averaged 17,269 fans for four non-conference home games played when students were out of town for winter break. The previous year, Indiana averaged 14,317 in those non-league games during break. Indiana also had 16 sellouts.

There were early indications it would be a different kind of season.

When the Hoosiers opened basketball practice in October, they actually had to turn away fans for the first time because Assembly Hall was filled to capacity.

"I continue to be overwhelmed by the spirit and generosity of so many who support our program every day," Crean said. "Our season-ticket holders are as loyal a group as you will find. You really had a sense early in the season that our players had forged a strong bond with our fans, young and old alike. That was very evident starting with Hoosier Hysteria, the North Carolina game and all of the great battles we had during the Big Ten season."

Indiana also sold 12,468 student tickets, which were bought in 10-game packages. Indiana's student section seats 7,800, still the largest in America by nearly 2,800 seats.

This year, with students tickets being sold in eight-game packages, the Hoosiers have already sold 14,580.

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