NCAA Ratings for Sunday Up

Monday, March 26th 2001, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ The NCAA regional basketball finals on CBS on Sunday drew much higher preliminary national ratings than in 2000, while overall tournament ratings remained below last year.

The two games earned a combined 7.1 rating with a 15 share, up 20 percent from last year's 5.9/14.

The Michigan State-Temple game received a 5.5 rating with a 13 share, up 20 percent from last year's first Sunday game between North Carolina and Tulsa, which drew a 4.6/12. The Arizona-Illinois game drew an 8.3 rating with a 16 share, up 15 percent from a year ago when Oklahoma State played Florida.

Each rating point represents about 1 million TV homes. A share is the percentage of homes with TVs in use.

The tourney as a whole is averaging 5.8/13, down 2 percent from last year's 5.9/13, when the event finished with its lowest overall rating since the network started airing it in 1982.

Meanwhile, NBC's coverage of The Players Championship, featuring Tiger Woods, posted its best Sunday overnight rating since 1991. The tournament drew a 5.7 rating with a 13 share.

In head-to-head competition with the NCAA tournament from 4:45-6:45 p.m. EST, golf outdrew basketball, 7.4/15 to 6.9/14.

National numbers are expected Tuesday.

Sunday's NASCAR race, the Food City 500, earned a 5.3 overnight rating with a 12 share on Fox. The race was on ESPN last year.

The national ratings are expected Thursday.


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