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It was hard to believe it was The Pete.
It was sad, actually. [...]
You easily could count the number of people sitting in the 100 courtside seats in the 12 luxury boxes. The Oakland Zoo -- the arena's famed student section -- was only a third full despite tweets earlier in the day urging kids to get off their "arse" and come out to support their struggling team. Eight minutes into the game, ushers still were moving fans down from the upper levels to make the lower bowl full. That might have happened over the years for some of the one-sided non-conference games against the likes of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Houston Baptist and Maryland-Baltimore County, but I can't remember seeing it at a Big East game. I also can't remember coach Jamie Dixon nearly begging -- OK, lobbying -- for the fans to come out, as he did Jan. 16 after Pitt's loss at Syracuse. He and his program have been much too successful to have to do that.