March Madness: Release of the five highest rated games of the first weekend


The first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Tournament is over. So which games had the most viewers in the first two rounds?

The top five rated games all came from the second round clashes on Saturday and Sunday.

The most-watched game was the Duke-Michigan State second-round game on Sunday night, which drew an estimated 11.2 million viewers. It’s likely fans wondered if this would be Coach K’s last game as the scoreline remained tight until the end. The Blue Devils ended up moving to the Sweet 16 with an 85-76 victory.

The Michigan-Tennessee game ranked second with 9.8 million total viewers. The No. 11 Wolverines seed upset the No. 3 volunteers on Saturday night.

A Midwest-focused Kansas-Creighton game came in third with 8.8 million viewers. The Jayhawks won Saturday’s game to advance to the Sweet 16 as the No. 1 seed.

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Villanova vs. Ohio State drew 8.6 million viewers. The Wildcats ended up beating the Buckeyes on Sunday afternoon.

And, finally, the fifth most-watched game of the weekend was one of the craziest games of the weekend: UNC’s win over No. 1 Baylor. This UNC upset drew 7.1 million viewers on Sunday afternoon.

The official The March Madness TV account also tweeted that this weekend saw the event’s best start in five years. The average is up 21% since last year, with an estimated 9.119 million viewers tuning in to TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV over the four days.

The second weekend of coverage begins Thursday, March 24 with two teams that did not make the top five of the first weekend: Arkansas vs. Gonzaga.

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