Two hotly contested games gave CBS Sports the highest-rated Final Four NCAA men’s basketball ratings in seven years, but they were up only a fraction from last year. The average of 9.0/17 household rating/share on Saturday was is the best since the 10.5/19 for the Illinois-Louisville and North Carolina-Michigan State games in 2005. Vs. last year’s Butler-VCU and Connecticut-Kentucky face-offs (8.9/17), this year’s contests were up a .1 or 1%. The first game, Kentucky beating Louisville, earned a 8.4/17, up 1% from last year (Butler-VCU). CBS’ coverage drew criticism after the network switched to a replay at the very end, thus missing the final seconds of the game. The second game, in featuring Kansas’ come-from-behind victory over Ohio State, delivered a 9.6/17, up 1% from last year (Connecticut-Kentucky). CBS/Turner’s NCAA coverage this season has averaged a 5.9 rating, down 5% from last year when the two networks shared coverage from the first time but up 4% from 2010, when CBS carried the tournament by itself.
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