(Orange and) Blue Blood? UVA-Duke draws biggest college hoops TV rating of the year

UVA-DukeSaturday’s ESPN broadcast of UVA-Duke had just short of 5 million eyeballs glued to the screen in the final minutes, making it the most-watched game of the year thus far.

The broadcast averaged 3.764 million viewers.

For comparison, the Duke-Kentucky game on opening night, Nov. 6, averaged 2.849 million viewers, though, to be fair, that was also Election Night.

To be unfair, it was also Election Night. Duke-Kentucky was a heckuva diversion, considering, and yes, that game was a massive blowout, but it was the kind of blowout that made you want to watch it more, due to the wow factor.

Also: Duke-Kentucky was prime time on a weeknight.

UVA-Duke was 6 p.m. on a Saturday night.

Saturdays, more difficult, pre-prime time, even more so.

Bottom line: UVA-Duke is at least 32 percent more interesting than Duke-Kentucky.

Huh. Didn’t see that one coming.

Makes you wonder if the powers-that-be in college basketball are looking at how they can get another installment or two in the series.

Column by Chris Graham


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