attendance

Carrier Dome won’t be reconfigured for Syracuse’s Feb. 1 game vs. Duke

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After getting over the initial shock of some conference realignment moves, many fans began to discuss the new match-ups that would grab their attention on winter nights. One of those games is the matchup between Duke and Syracuse, with the two powerhouse programs scheduled to meet at the Carrier Dome for the first time on February 1.

With that game being billed as a national showcase and one that will ultimately determine who wins the ACC, there were questions as to whether or not Syracuse would reconfigure the Carrier Dome in order to fit some 50,000 fans into the building. While past Big East games against the likes of UConn, Georgetown, Notre Dame and Villanova have established attendance records for the Dome, none have approached the 50,000 mark.

As it turns out neither will the game against the Blue Devils, as it was reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard that Syracuse will not reconfigure the Carrier Dome for the February 1 contest. According to SU executive senior associate athletic director John Giansante, there were multiple factors that led to the school deciding not to make the switch.

“It was considered and studied intensely,” Giansante told Mike Waters of the Post-Standard. “We considered it very seriously. A lot of things pointed us in the direction of being able to do it, but several pointed in the other direction.”

Giansante listed factors such as moving season-ticket holders, sight-lines for temporary seats and the logistics of moving the court for the Saturday game against Duke and then hosting a women’s game at the Dome on Sunday and a men’s game against Notre Dame on Monday.

Also mentioned in the story is the fact that the Carrier Dome wiring is already set up for television crews. Moving the court to the middle of the football field would have required a lot of work in that department as well.

Syracuse’s February 23 game against Georgetown, their final meeting at the Dome as Big East rivals, drew a building-record 35,012 fans. And even with the lack of a rivalry between the Orange and Duke, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the fact that Duke is both a storied and unfamiliar opponent ultimately led to the record being broken.

The two programs have played just four times (two wins apiece), with all four contests (the first being played in 1966) being played on neutral floors. Duke won the most recent meeting, beating the Orange 80-67 in the 1998 NCAA tournament (Sweet 16 game in the South Region).

San Diego State led state of California in college basketball attendance in 2011-12

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Which major California-based program led the state in college basketball attendance last season? Perhaps historic UCLA? Maybe fellow Pac-12 member California? Perhaps Fresno State?

Nope. It was resurgent San Diego State of the Mountain West.

The Aztecs came in 29th in the country and tops among all California schools, beating out Cal (52nd), Fresno State (79th), and UCLA (84th).

Now, with the strong recruiting class and renovated Pauley Pavilion at UCLA, San Diego State might be in for an attendance battle in 2012-13, but what head coach Steve Fisher was able to do with his 2011-12 squad is impressive.

Following the departure of key pieces that include San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, the Aztecs were still able to finish 26-8, including 10-4 in the Mountain West.

Next year they could be even better, bringing in 2012 recruits Winston Shepard, Matt Shrigley, and Skylar Spencer, along with St. John’s transfer Dwayne Polee.

Competition in the conference will increase as well, though, with UNLV adding Top 10 recruit Anthony Bennett, along with guard Katin Reinhardt and transfer Khem Birch. That is in addition to the return of Mike Moser, who averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds per game last season.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_