Duke basketball lands primetime TV slot over defending champ and No. 1 seed UConn

The Blue Devil brand is still the strongest in college basketball

Mar 14, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; The Duke Blue Devils mascot Blue Devil dances on the court
Mar 14, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; The Duke Blue Devils mascot Blue Devil dances on the court / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Even with the Duke basketball team limping into the NCAA Tournament, losing its last two games, the television executives still know that the Blue Devils will draw the most viewers to its primetime slot.

No. 4 seed Duke will battle No. 13 seed Vermont at 7:10 p.m. ET on national television (CBS) Friday night.

The four games that will take place inside the Barclays Center on Friday also include the defending National Champion, UConn Huskies, who are also the No. 1 overall seed in this year's tournament and the favorite to win the title again.

Still, Duke gets the prime television spot over them as they will play at 2:45 p.m. ET on CBS.

Why? Well, it's all about the numbers.

UConn is coming off of the most watched Big East Tournament Semifinal and Championship in FOX history with 1.2 million people tuning in to its victory over St. John's and 1.6 million for its win over Marquette.

Still, those numbers are smaller than what Duke's regular season games drew, which saw 2.8 million watch the Blue Devils and North Carolina in Chapel Hill while 2.6 million viewed the rematch in Durham.

Duke's regular season blowout victory over Virginia gathered more viewers than UConn's conference tournament run, as 1.7 million saw the Blue Devils embarass the Cavaliers late in the season.

UConn's regular season game against North Carolina, which was on ESPN and inside Madison Square Garden, only drew 1.2 million and was not one of the network's Top-10 games watched during the regular season.

The Huskies are clearly superior to the Blue Devils on the basketball court -- and have been for the last two seasons -- but there is still no debating that no one moves the social media and television world quite like the Duke Blue Devils.

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