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NCAA Ratings Jump in Latest Round

March 23, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Ratings jumped for the first day of regional semifinal action in the NCAA tournament, which featured some big-name teams and tight games.

Thursday night’s games on CBS drew a 7.3 overnight rating, up 11 percent from last year and the highest since 1994.

Despite the boost, the tourney as a whole was averaging a 5.4, down 7 percent from 2000, when the event finished with its lowest overall rating since the network started airing it in 1982.

The first slot Thursday _ which had Southern California upsetting Kentucky 80-76 in the East, and Maryland holding off Georgetown 76-66 in the West _ drew a 7.5 rating, 7 percent better than last year and the highest since 1997.

The second slot _ when Duke beat UCLA 76-63 in the East, and Stanford topped Cincinnati 78-65 in the West _ drew a 7.1, up 15 percent from last year. The rating ties 1999′s for the best in that window since 1993.

Last year’s first day of regional semifinals included one game decided by 24 points and another by 17.

Ratings represent the percentage of U.S. television homes tuning in to a broadcast, and overnight numbers are based on the largest TV markets, covering about 65 percent of the country.

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