Cyclones Will See NYC is Hot for NCAAs

By: Mike Hlas and Scott Saville

NEW YORK, New York - The attendance for the Iowa State-North Carolina/Baylor-Creighton NCAA tourney third-round twin bill Sunday in San Antonio's AT&T Center was 13,431.

Whew, that was a unwieldy sentence. Sorry.

People in San Antone were patting themselves on the back. It was good, solid attendance, they said. Who did? This headline on this story on the San Antonio Express-News' site, for one.

Which was also what they said about the announced crowd of 11,690 for the Friday night evening session that saw North Carolina beat Providence and Iowa State defeat North Carolina Central. The Friday afternoon session, which included Texas school Baylor, had 12,895 fans.

There were plenty of empty seats in the 18,851-seat arena.

On Monday night, the woeful Philadelphia 76ers lost their 25th straight game, this one at San Antonio. With as lackluster a drawing card as the 76ers were, the attendance was still 17,798. On a Monday, no less. The Spurs' average home crowd is 18,405.

Well, New York City is a pro sports town through and through, but it isn't lukewarm about hosting the NCAA East Regional semifinals Friday and the final on Sunday. And it's not just because it's the first time Manhattan has held NCAA tourney games since 1960.

Connecticut is in the regional, and UConn plays Iowa State Friday night before Michigan State tangles with Virginia. This Bloomberg.com story gives you an idea of what the composition of the crowd will be Friday.

There are 11,901 UConn alumni in New York City, Long Island and the Northern New Jersey area, according to the school's alumni association. The number rises to 63,000 when including Southern Connecticut. Iowa State, by comparison, has 2,276 alumni in New York, according to its alumni association.

So ticket prices are over-the-moon high at TipIQ, StubHub, and every other site that dabbles in ducats to events in the city that never sleeps. The two sessions will have sellout crowds of 19,763 apiece.

If Iowa State kicks UConn to the Broadway curb Friday night, you can show up Sunday afternoon outside the Garden and find tickets at considerably more affordable prices than if the Huskies survive and advance. In fact, if the Cyclones prevail you'll find tickets made available outside the Garden late Friday night by Huskies fans who want to catch a train home and forget the evening ever happened.
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