A recent article from Sports Media Watch told us something we already knew: the Final Four is great television, and hugely popular.
According to the site, the recent, thrilling NBA finals came in second in viewership in the all-important demographic of males aged 18-49, with an average 7.1 rating over the seven-game series. The Final Four was numero uno in live sports.
In a way, this is kind of an apples-to-oranges comparison. The Final Four is three single-elimination games, while the NBA Finals can be anywhere from four to seven games, with elimination not even a possibility over the first three contests. The stakes are rather different in that respect.
Still, it has to be interesting to hoops fans to note that both events finished higher than the five BCS Bowl games. The Final Four was tabbed with a 11.4 rating, and an unofficial average of 18.2 million viewers. The BCS games drew an 8.8 with 15.1 million sets of eyeballs trained toward football.
The comparison is a bit of a chimera, but interesting nonetheless. While your average regular-season football contest out of the Big Ten or SEC will whoop just about any college hoops game you can imagine, basketball purists can rest assured that our postseason is still the best thing in sports – the numbers back us up on that.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.