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Six college basketball games rank among Top 50 most-viewed sporting events

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Sports Media Watch took time during the Major League Baseball all-star break to release its list of the top 50 most-viewed sporting events of the first half of 2012.

The most-viewed college basketball game, unsurprisingly, was Kentucky’s win over Kansas in the national title game with a rating of 12.3 and just under 20,900,000 viewers.

That was good for 15th on the list, with two other games making the Top 25.

The six other  college basketball games to make the list were:

21. Kansas/Ohio State (Final Four)

25. Kentucky/Louisville (Final Four)

32. Kansas/North Carolina (Elite 8)

35. Ohio State/Syracuse (Elite 8)

45. North Carolina/Creighton (round of 32)

46. Kentucky/Indiana (Sweet 16)

Interestingly enough the game between the Tar Heels and Bluejays registered a higher rating than the rematch of arguably the best game of the regular season.

That’s the game where North Carolina saw their national title hopes take a serious hit due to Kendall Marshall breaking his right wrist in the second half.

Kansas and Kentucky were each a part of three games that made the list; the name brand programs put up the best numbers when it comes to television ratings so that is no surprise.

NCAA tournament ratings reportedly dropped five percent from 2011 to 2012, the first time since 2008 in which there was a decrease.

As much as people tend to flock towards the traditional powers, having some unpredictability sprinkled in is usually good for television ratings over the long haul.

Photo credit: Ted Kirk/Lincoln Journal-Star

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Ellis, Lucas lead No. 6 Kansas past No. 10 West Virginia

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) blocks a shot by West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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In the first meeting between No. 10 West Virginia and No. 6 Kansas, the Mountaineers dominated in their 74-63 win in Morgantown. Bob Huggins’ “Press Virginia” attack forced 22 Kansas turnovers, with the Jayhawks playing far too fast and loose with the basketball while also getting out-toughed by the Mountaineers. In the rematch Kansas (20-4, 8-3 Big 12) looked far better equipped to deal with West Virginia in both of those areas, winning by the final score of 75-65.

Kansas committed 15 turnovers, with Devonte’ Graham responsible for five of them, but they did not allow West Virginia (19-4, 8-3) to use those chances to kickstart their offense. The Mountaineers scored 13 points (one fewer than Kansas, which took advantage of ten WVU miscues) off of those turnovers and did not register a single fast break points. Having to play in the half-court more than they would have liked, West Virginia could not execute at the level they did in beating Baylor Saturday.

As a result Bob Huggins’ team shot 37.3 percent from the field and 5-for-20 from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers have shown signs of being able to win games in which they don’t force a high turnover count, but that wasn’t the case at Allen Fieldhouse.

If not for West Virginia grabbing better than 34 percent of their misses and scoring 14 second-chance points, the margin is likely even greater than the ten-point outcome due to the contract in offensive execution. Kansas pushed the ball early, getting out to an 8-0 lead, and as the game wore on the Jayhawks were much better in finding quality shot opportunities. Bill Self’s team shot 56.1 percent from the field with Perry Ellis scoring 21 points to lead five Jayhawks in double figures.

The tandem of Ellis and Landen Lucas, who grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, won the battle against a WVU front court missing the suspended Jonathan Holton. Devin Williams, who went for 17 and 12 in the first meeting, finished the rematch with a respectable 14-point, nine-rebound effort but he didn’t get much help in the post from the likes of Elijah Macon and Nathan Adrian.

After having Self question their toughness in a home win over Kansas State six days ago, the Jayhawks have responded with wins over TCU and West Virginia. Obviously it’s tough to read too much into beating the Horned Frogs, because even with that game being in Fort Worth it’s one Kansas was expected to handle with ease. The Mountaineers posed a different, and far more rigorous test, and Kansas got the job done.

As a result the Jayhawks have brought West Virginia back to the pack in the Big 12 title race, making Saturday’s game at No. 3 Oklahoma even bigger than it already was.

VIDEO: North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapses on sideline

Roy Williams
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North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapsed during the second half of No. 2 North Carolina’s visit to Boston College on Tuesday night:

Roy Williams has dealt with vertigo in the past; it’s not abnormal for him to collapse on the sideline during games, and given that his team is currently losing to Boston College, it’s understandable that he may have screamed himself dizzy.

He had to be helped off the floor:

It does appear that this isn’t something serious, according to a North Carolina release, that said Williams is “doing OK”.