If anybody found it difficult to look away from the TV during the Big 12 Tournament championship game, you weren’t alone.
The Kansas basketball team’s 81-70 victory over West Virginia at Sprint Center was the most-watched Big 12 championship game in 16 seasons, according to an ESPN press release. It drew the third-highest ratings on ESPN’s networks during conference tournament week, producing a 24 percent rating increase from last year’s Big 12 Tournament title game.
The Big 12 title game delivered 2.85 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The game even outdrew Duke-North Carolina’s matchup in the ACC Tournament semifinals (2.82 million).
Of course, it’s no surprise that the Jayhawks can draw a big crowd. Among ESPN’s college basketball games, Kansas City ranked as the No. 2 market throughout the season with a 2.6 rating, slightly ahead of the Raleigh-Durham market (2.3 rating). Louisville remained the top local market for college hoops for the 16th straight year with a 4.2 rating.
During the conference tournament week, the most watched game on ESPN platforms was the ACC championship game (UNC vs. Virginia, 3.435 million viewers).