Sports Duke-Wisconsin NCAA final attracts average of 28.3 million TV viewers Tyus Jones #5 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a three-point basket late in the second half against the Wisconsin Badgers during the NCAA men's Final Four national championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 6, 2015 in Indianapolis. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons By NEIL BEST firstname.lastname@example.org @sportswatch April 7, 2015 3:52 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Duke's victory over Wisconsin Monday night in the NCAA men's basketball championship game averaged 28.3 million viewers, the highest such figure for the event since 1997, when Arizona defeated Kentucky in the final. Viewership peaked at 33.4 million between 11 and 11:15 p.m. Kentucky's loss to Wisconsin in Saturday's semifinals was expected to hurt ratings for the final, and perhaps it did. A Duke-Kentucky showdown likely would have exceeded 30 million average viewers. Still, CBS had to be happy with the performance of the final championship game of its 34-year run carrying the game. In 2016 TBS will televise the entire Final Four. It returns to CBS in 2017. Surprisingly, the basketball final averaged only 5 million fewer viewers than the inaugural College Football Playoff championship between Oregon and Ohio State on ESPN in January. By NEIL BEST email@example.com @sportswatch Neil Best first worked at Newsday in 1982, returned in 1985 after a detour to Alaska and has been here since, specializing in high schools, college basketball, the NFL and most recently sports media and business. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.