All of the upsets and close action over the opening weekend of the men’s NCAA tournament has translated into big ratings.
Ratings for the first two rounds of March Madness were considerably higher than last year. The average for the four days was a 5.9 rating/12 share.
The last time the early rounds did better overnight numbers was 1993, when the tournament’s first weekend got a 6.2/14 for CBS. This year’s average ties 1994 (5.9/14) for the best since then.
A number of upsets, including 14th-seeded Bucknell upsetting No. 3 seed Kansas in a first-round game, contributed to the weekend’s excitement.
Despite the high numbers, the ratings on Thursday and Friday night do not match what the networks normally pull in with regular programming.