Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Hoosier basketball.

Tuesday, November 14

Teams Show Up, Fans Don't

You might have figured the debut of the Kelvin Sampson era would have made for must-see live viewing for Indiana basketball fans. You might have figured a four-team grouping that also included Notre Dame and Butler would have left Conseco Fieldhouse bursting at the seams.

You'd have figured wrong.

Monday night's doubleheader -- which had IU beating Lafayette and Butler surprising Notre Dame -- drew just 8,037. That's less than half the capacity of Conseco Fieldhouse.

Price might have had something to do with it. Courtside tickets for a two-night package were $100 each. It was $30 for the balcony.

Prices cost half as much tonight, when Notre Dame plays Lafayette in the consolation game (does anybody really care) and Indiana plays Butler for the right to advance to New York's Madison Square Garden.

Maybe fans had a premonition about the season opener. The IU-Lafayette game featured 52 fouls, 42 free throws and 44 turnovers. That's tough to take, even for the biggest fan.


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