Butler helped do it, even if it lost to Duke Monday night.
By "it," I mean Butler's participation in the NCAA title game helped CBS and Channel 4 get their highest-ratings for a title game in five years.
Locally, Duke's 61-59 win had a 12.9 rating on Channel 4, which more than 50 percent higher than the 8.4 for North Carolina's 2009 title win over Michigan State. It was the highest-rated title game locally since North Carolina defeated Illinois in 2005.
Nationally, CBS had a 16.0 overnight rating in the big markets, the same rating it had for the North-Carolina-Illinois game in 2005.
The tightness of the Duke-Butler game undoubtedly helped.
After a last-second shot by Butler's Gordon Hayward just missed from near half-court, CBS play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz instantly told the audience "we just watched one of the great championship games ever played."
It would have been the greatest if Hayward's shot had gone in and given Butler a 62-61 win.
Curiously, Clark Kellogg -- whose analysis was more annoying that memorable on several occasions -- didn't note what would have happened if Hayward's shot had gone in: Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who added to his legend with this title, would have been skewered because Blue Devil Brian Zoubek intentionally missed a free throw that would given Duke a three-point lead to give Butler less time for a final shot.
-- Alan Pergament