Louisville remains the top market in the nation for viewership of college basketball games on ESPN.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Mid-day notes while waiting for Indiana (at home against Wisconsin at 7 p.m.) and Kentucky (at Arkansas at 9) to play Tuesday:
*When it comes to college basketball passion, Louisville is still The One – as in Number One in TV viewers of ESPN hoops telecasts. According to ESPN's measurement of Nielsen metered markets, Louisville has a comfortable lead over Greensboro, N.C. and Memphis. This is the 12th consecutive season that Louisville is positioned to rank as the top market for college basketball viewers.
Kentucky's November game against Michigan State ranks as the most-watched telecast of the season as well as the second-most watched non-conference telecast ever for ESPN.
Here is the Top 25 list of metered markets, as provided by ESPN:
ESPN Metered Market Ratings (through January 9)
DMA Avg. Rating
*There was a time when the Houston Cougars were as feared (and as talented) as any college basketball program in the nation. Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and friends led the Cougars to back-to-back-to-back Final Fours from 1982-84. Houston lost the national championship game to North Carolina State in 1983 and Georgetown in 1984.
Houston visits the KFC Yum! Center Thursday night to play Louisville.
How many NCAA Tournament games has Houston won since the Cougars were beaten by Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas at The Kingdome in Seattle in 1984?
The correct answer is zero.
Houston has made the tournament only four times over the last three decades – and the Cougars have always exited after one game. Houston has made the tournament once – 2010 – since 1992.
*Speaking of streaks, Wisconsin has beaten Indiana 12 straight, which ties the longest winning streak by any opponent against the Hoosiers. Wisconsin's last victory over IU was by a dozen points in the Big Ten Tournament last March. The Badgers also beat Indiana in Assembly Hall one year ago.
Indiana's last win (71-66) over the Badgers was Jan. 31, 2007 – in Madison.
*Can Kentucky deliver at Bud Walton Arena? The betting public is not convinced.
The Wildcats opened as 2-1/2 point favorites, but the consensus line at VegasInsiders.com now favors the Razorbacks by a point. Ken Pomeroy's computer system likes UK by 2 with a 58 percent win probability.
More confusion: Jeff Sagarin's Predictor rankings call it a pick ‘em game, favoring UK by .37 points.