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Tournament Ratings Up, Final Game Down

Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies holds the trophy as he and his team celebrate after defeating the Butler Bulldogs to win the National Championship Game.
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Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies holds the trophy as he and his team celebrate after defeating the Butler Bulldogs to win the National Championship Game.

Ratings for last night’s UConn-Butler didn’t turn out to be as disasterous as the game.

CBS earned an 11.7 rating, down 17.6% from last year’s matchup, which featured Butler and Duke. That game, which got a 14.2 national rating, turned out to be the most watched game since 2005, when North Carolina beat Illinois.

Last night’s game, which featured a record-low field goal percentage from Butler (18.8%), beat out three other title games in terms of ratings. The worst rated title game was the North Carolina-Michigan State game in 2009, which pulled in a 10.8 rating. The two other games that did worse was UConn-Georgia Tech in ’04 (11.0) and Florida-UCLA in ’06 (11.2).

While Connecticut has now been involved in two of the top four worst drawing finals, the school has also been involved in the most-watched game over the last 13 years, when they beat Duke in 1999.

Overall, the ratings — on four channels for the first time thanks to CBS & Turner’s new 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with the NCAA — were up seven percent from last year and drew the best ratings since 2005.

One rating point equals 1,159,000 households.

Top Rated Final Games Over 13 Years

1. Duke-UConn, 1999 (17.2)
2. Duke-Arizona, 2001 (15.6)
3. UNC-Illinois, 2005 (15.0)
4. Maryland-Indiana, 2002 (15.0)
5. Duke-Butler, 2010 (14.2)
6. Michigan State-Florida, 2000 (14.1)
7. Syracuse-Kansas, 2003 (12.7)
8. Florida-Ohio State, 2007 (12.2)
9. Kansas-Memphis, 2008 (12.1)
10. UConn-Butler, 2011 (11.7)
11. Florida-UCLA, 2006 (11.2)
12. UConn-Georgia Tech, 2004 (11.0)
13. UNC-Michigan State, 2009 (10.8)
Source: Nielsen

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