April 6, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) -The NCAA championship game matched its highest preliminary television rating since 1999.

Duke's 61-59 win over Butler on Monday night on CBS earned a 16.0 overnight rating and 25 share. That's up 34 percent from the 11.9/19 for North Carolina's blowout against Michigan State last year.

It tied the 16.0/23 for North Carolina-Illinois in 2005 as the best since a 16.9/25 in 1999 for Connecticut-Duke.

The entire tournament averaged a 6.6 overnight rating, up 5 percent from last season.

Ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time. Overnight ratings measure the nation's largest markets.