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Start Appreciating Your NIT Team Already!

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Once again this year Syracuse basketball found itself in the top three among attendance, trailing only Kentucky and North Carolina. The Orange averaged 20,345 fans per game. But just because people are showing up, that doesn't mean they're being appreciative.

Think about it, when you go to an SU game what are you doing? Are you on your Blackberry the whole thing? Are you just there to complain about every turnover that Paul Harris makes? Do you just have nacho eating contests with you friends up in Section 311 the entire time?


Whatever you're doing,
you're clearly not appreciating the Orange. SI.com unveiled their America's Most Underappreciated College Basketball Teams list and Syracuse is #9 on the list, just slightly ahead of West Virginia.
The Orange, national champions just five years ago, present an interesting case. Syracuse managed to rank third overall in raw attendance despite filling just over half the seats in their cavernous home building. Their traditionally cupcake-laden home schedule prior to Big East play also drags down the numbers, along with underwhelming crowds for three NIT games at the end of the season -- including a surprisingly sparse draw against Maryland (14,768). But while the Orange aren't pumping out 30,000-person crowds on a consistent basis like during the 'Melo days, student support remains strong in upstate New York, with the Orange never drawing fewer than 14,000 supporters.
Of course they decide not to mention that we set the NIT attendance record the season previous and it's somewhat understandable that fans don't flock back to the Dome for a 2nd straight trip to the "lesser" tournament. And like you guys say, a lot's changed in five years.

If anything its the peril of playing in a place like the Carrier Dome. Even with our high attendance figures we could always pack more people in there at any given time. It'll never feel totally full, especially for the East Tennessee State-like games on our schedule.


But a poll like this discounts what it's like in the Dome during an SU-Georgetown or SU-UConn game. You can't possibly attend one of those games and say SU fans are unappreciative.

The good news, it's the one time Georgetown will be higher than us on a list and it's fine. They're #1.