A few days back, Greg posted this year's attendance figures on NCAA Division I basketball programs. Pitt finished a somewhat disappointing 46th, but that's to be expected somewhat due to a weak non-conference schedule and, more importantly, largely bad basketball.
While 46th doesn't sound that great for a program that's been one of the nation's best over the past decade, it is a bit misleading.As Greg pointed out, that number included the CBI games. While that helped Pitt's total attendance, the average attendance (what that No. 46 ranking is based on) suffered dramatically. In the four CBI games, Pitt had a total of about 10,600 fans - not even the total capacity for the Pete. That low average of about 2,650 fans a game brought the average down considerably and without the CBI games, Pitt would have finished 39th. Now, there could have also been teams ahead of Pitt with the same situation by playing in the CBI or NIT, but the point is that the attendance is a bit better taking away those contests.
Then there's the capacity issue.
The Pete seats 12,500. The top 26 teams averaged more than that alone. Since Pitt doesn't even seat that many people, there's no way they could surpass those teams in terms of attendance, even if they had a great season. There are also several other schools with larger seating capacities and Pitt can't do much about that.
It wasn't a good season by any stretch. But the fact that Pitt still played to more than 80% capacity (excluding the CBI games) with the weak non-conference schedule and all of the losses really wasn't all that bad.