The Big Ten Tournament was the dominant force during college basketball’s championship weekend.
Three of the four most-watched college hoops games this week were from the conference. Purdue’s win over Penn State in the Championship on Sunday led the way with 3.177 million viewers on CBS, followed closely behind by the Nittany Lions’ semifinal win over Indiana on Saturday with 2.805 million viewers, also on CBS. The second semifinal, Purdue’s win over Ohio State, averaged 2.541 million viewers on CBS, the fourth most-watched game of the weekend.
Breaking up the Big Ten’s monopoly at the top of the charts was the ACC. Duke’s win over Virginia in the ACC Tournament Championship averaged 2.697 million viewers on ESPN Saturday night. Texas’ win over Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament Championship on ESPN Saturday night was the final game to top two million viewers for the week, averaging 2.485 million viewers.
Alabama’s win over Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament Championship averaged 1.949 million viewers on ESPN Sunday, while Memphis’ upset win over Houston in the AAC Tournament Championship averaged 1.680 million directly after. San Diego State’s Mountain West Tournament win over Utah State on CBS Saturday night averaged 1.658 million viewers, while Arizona’s late night Pac-12 Tournament victory over UCLA on ESPN averaged 1.570 million.
Notably, many of these games were down from last year. All three Big Ten games were down from the comparable games a year ago, as were the ACC and SEC title games. The Big 12 Championship was even compared to last year, while the AAC, Mountain West, and Pac-12 were all up.
The Big East final was also down, dropping to just 980,000 viewers on Fox for Marquette’s win over Xavier. Last year, Villanova’s triumph over Creighton averaged 1.221 million viewers. The Big East Championship fell behind not only all of the games mentioned above this year, but also the Atlantic-10 title game, both Big 12 semifinals, one ACC semi and one quarter, and both SEC semis and one quarter.
[Data via ShowBuzz Daily]