2013 Final Four: CBS Says NCAA Championship Game Drew Most Viewers in Two Decades

By Ryan Heckman
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There were many reasons why this year’s March Madness could be considered one of the greatest tournaments of all time. With so many upsets and shocking defeats being pulled off, it was certainly one for the ages.

CBS recently released the numbers regarding the National Champions television viewership, and the results are staggering. Monday night’s game between the Michigan Wolverines and Louisville Cardinals drew 23.4 million viewers nationwide, more than any National Championship in the past 19 years.

One of the biggest reasons for the viewership is undoubtedly the unfortunate injury to Louisville guard Kevin Ware. Against the Duke Blue Devils, Ware suffered one of the most gruesome injuries anybody will ever witness on a basketball court. If you haven’t heard or seen by now, I will leave the rest of the frightening images and details for you to check out on your own time.

Phrases like “Win for Ware” and “Pray for Ware” were circling the internet and television programs immediately after the injury, making the National Championship a must-watch for any sports fan in general.

As the Cardinals’ starting lineup was announced pre-game, each starter ran through the line of players giving each other high fives. Then, before walking out onto the center of the court, they would walk over to the sideline and reach out to their fallen teammate. Handshakes, hugs and emotional sentiments were expressed as players surely worked to fight back tears.

I am sure this moment alone drew even more viewers than had originally planned to watch the game. Overall, the game was a fantastic matchup throughout with a few ups and downs for either team. In the end, Louisville prevailed and Ware was able to help cut down the remaining pieces of the nets, capping a heart-warming performance by the Cardinals.

Ryan Heckman is a writer for  RantSports.com covering primarily the NBA and NFL. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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