College football fans were deprived of "The Game" between notorious football rivals Ohio State and Michigan in 2020. However, the two Big Ten opponents made up for it by putting on quite a show on the basketball court this past weekend.
The No. 3 Wolverines took on the No. 4 Buckeyes in Columbus in what turned out to be an incredible top-5 match-up. Michigan held off a late game effort from Ohio State to pull out the win, 92-87. Wolverines' freshman big man Hunter Dickinson led the way with 22 points and Juwan Howard's team improved to 16-1 with the victory.
In what's been a strange college basketball season, that's seen multiple powerhouses take massive steps back, fans were overjoyed to see a competitive game between two of the best programs in the country. That excitement was reflected in viewership numbers that were released on Tuesday afternoon.
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) February 23, 2021
">CBS Sports reported that Michigan vs. Ohio State was the "most-watched college basketball game of the season" that has aired on any network. The match-up apparently averaged 2.63 million viewers, making it the most-watched game on CBS since March of 2019.
The news bodes well for CBS headed into March with the upcoming NCAA tournament. Without college basketball's "blue-bloods" to headline the bracket, networks will need to rely on competitive, well-coached games to get fans to tune-in.
Sunday's match-up provided a late season opportunity for both Big Ten programs to scout out one another before the postseason.
After returning from a two-week hiatus, Michigan looks as fresh as ever. With the win, the conference crown appears to be the Wolverines for the taking.
Even with the loss, Ohio State remained No. 4 in the latest AP poll. The Buckeyes should be fine come tournament time and have the depth to play with any team in the country.