Here's another group that should have incentive to bring the Indiana-Kentucky series back: television executives.
While the NCAA Tournament always draws much bigger numbers than regular season college basketball, the Hoosiers & Wildcats drew in a 6.9 rating on Saturday afternoon -- the highest number in the tournament and the 2015-16 college basketball season to date - by a long shot.
Saturday's Indiana-Kentucky game on CBS had best overnight rating of the weekend (6.9). 2nd was Sunday's SFA/ND with a 5.8.— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) March 21, 2016
For context, the top in-season college basketball game generally draws around a 2.0-2.5 rating. The rivalry matchup also bested the Warriors-Spurs matchup on ABC on Saturday night, which pulled in roughly 5 million viewers to the 10 million-plus for Indiana-Kentucky matchup. Oh, and per WDRB's Eric Crawford, the game pulled in massive numbers -- bigger than even the Kentucky Derby and last year's national title game in Louisville.
Here's a chart of the full ratings from the second round, from former NCAA staffer Greg Shaheen.
Second Round side-by-side window ratings last weekend vs. last year. pic.twitter.com/rwgbPV1sM0— Greg Shaheen (@gashaheen) March 21, 2016