University of Kansas

Kansas’ victory over Kentucky is ESPN’s highest rated hoop game this season

Kansas head coach Bill Self speaks with Kentucky guard Malik Monk (5) after a 79-73 win for the visiting Jayhawks on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.
Kansas head coach Bill Self speaks with Kentucky guard Malik Monk (5) after a 79-73 win for the visiting Jayhawks on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. TNS

Kansas’ victory at Kentucky on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge earned a 2.0 national rating on ESPN, making it the highest rated college basketball game of the season on the sports network.

It also was the highest rated game in the four-year history of the challenge series.

Louisville and Kansas City led the local market ratings. The game averaged a 15.6 rating in Louisville and a 12.3 rating in Kansas City.

Last year’s game between college basketball’s winningest programs, won by the Jayhawks in overtime in Lawrence, drew a 1.8 nationally and 10.1 in Kansas City.

This year’s matchup was the highest rated game in the Kansas City market on ESPN since last year’s Kansas-Oklahoma game in Lawrence, which drew a 16.8.

The top markets behind Louisville and Kansas City were Cincinnati (8.6), Nashville (6.4) and Knoxville (6.1).

Kansas beat reporter Jesse Newell recapped the Jayhawks' 79-73 victory over Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Jan. 28, 2017, on Facebook Live.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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