Arizona basketball’s the place to be in Tucson (again)

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Sellouts are commonplace for elite college basketball programs. Arizona’s almost back to that level.

For ticket sales, I mean. (It’ll be another few seasons before I’d include the Wildcats among college hoops elite again.)

Arizona expects its first sellout of the season when it plays host to in-state rival ASU, which would be its first of the season. Filling the McKale Center to its 14,545 capacity was easy during Lute Olson’s heyday. But became difficult in the late 2000s.

And when I say difficult, take that with a dash of sarcasm. ‘Cats fans still fill the place.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona ranked 19th among all college programs in attendance last season, averaging 13,815 fans per game. But Sean Miller’s helped boost the ‘Cats back to must-see levels. Consider the turnout for last week’s Stanford game. It was delayed a day because of the horrific Tucson shootings, but fans still filled the place.

“I love our students, and our crowd is amazing,” Miller told the paper. “It says it all about them that they showed up for a 12:30 (p.m. Sunday) tip-off after a game was changed, and with all of the circumstances that Tucson went through this past weekend.

“I don’t know too many college basketball programs that would have had over 14,000 people at that game. I think sometimes it’s maybe taken for granted the great support we have had this year.”

Sounds like that support is only growing by the game.

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.