The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has been scoring with double-digit gains this year for its best ratings numbers in more than two decades, and Sunday’s pair of matchups on CBS that determined the Final Four kept up the pace. The second game, Duke’s pull-away 66-52 win over Gonzaga, bled into primetime in the East and averaged a 9.9/20, tying 2010 as the highest rating in the game window in 10 years and up 10% over last year. The first game, which featured Michigan State crashing the Final Four as the only non-No. 1 seed with a 76-70 victory over Louisville, averaged a 7.6/17 to deliver the highest rating in the game window in 22 years and grow 17% from last year.
Through yesterday’s Elite Eight games, the tournament is averaging a 7.2/15, up 11% year-over-year on both Turner networks and CBS. The Elite Eight coverage averaged an 8.0/16, up 23% over last year and the best regional finals stats in 10 years. Live streams on the NCAA March Madness Live app have grown 13% tournament-to-date, with more than 71 million through Sunday.
The tourney continues Saturday with a pair of Final Four games on TBS: Duke-Michigan State at 3:09 PM PT followed by Kentucky-Wisconsin at 5:49 PM. The championship game is at 6 PM PT on April 6 on CBS.