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Indiana basketball turns in top-10 attendance ranking despite tumultuous season



Indiana basketball
Despite the roller coaster of a 2023-24 season, the Indiana basketball program turned in a top-10 attendance year nationally. (Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times-USA TODAY NETWORK)

The Indiana basketball program had a roller coaster of a ride this season to finish exactly where it was projected in the preseason — sixth.

That roller coaster was on full display over the last few weeks, however. After a four game losing streak caused part of the fanbase to call for head coach Mike Woodson to be fired, the frustration was heightened when it was reported he would return for a fourth year. Then on top of that, Indiana basketball lost its only commit in the 2024 class when Liam McNeeley decommitted.

Despite all of that, Indiana basketball landed in the top-10 in total attendance this season.

According to NCAA Stats and NBC Sports, Indiana ranked sixth in the country with 296,427 in total attendance for the season. It was one of three Big Ten programs in the top-10 and ranked the highest in the conference.

This comes just a few days after Indiana’s season-finale against Michigan State when Mike Woodson turned some heads with his postgame comments.

During his senior day comments on the floor, Woodson began to thank everyone for the season, including the fans … well, some of them.

“And most of all, our true fans. True fans,” Woodson said. “I’ll say that again, our true fans.”

Related: Indiana women’s basketball ranks in top-5 of total attendance for 2023-24 season

Since then, those comments have caused more of a stir within the fanbase. Regardless, Woodson feels very comfortable where he is and what he’s done with the Indiana basketball program.

“There should never be any questions about my job based on what I have done here since I stepped foot in Indiana as a coach,” Woodson said on Sunday. “I’m not going to entertain questions about it because shouldn’t be anything out there floating around about my job. I’ve done my job and I’m going to continue to do it.”

After Indiana’s four-game winning streak it brought its conference record back to 10-10 overall and its overall record to 18-13.

Coming into the recent four-game winning streak, Indiana basketball had gone 4-10 since Jan. 1. It also had lost four in a row and six of the last eight games.

After taking Indiana to back-to-back NCAA Tournament’s in his first two seasons, Indiana has struggled this year. There is no questioning that.

Indiana basketball is still ranked No. 94 in the NET rankings and No. 88 in the KenPom rankings. Indiana hasn’t been ranked that low in KenPom’s ratings since Tom Crean’s second season in 2009-10 when Indiana finished 194th.

The Hoosiers head into the Big Ten Tournament likely needing a tournament championship in order to make the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re playing as good as any team in the country right now based on the last four games,” Woodson added. “We got to take it a game at a time, man. I’ll never jump ahead.”

SEE ALSO: ‘We’re playing as good as any team in the country right now’: Indiana basketball enters Big Ten Tournament with extreme confidence as season hangs in the balance

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.