The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team was a winner in one area Thursday night – in local ratings.
The 14th-seeded Bulls' 79-72 loss to third-seeded Miami in the first round of the NCAA tournament had a 9.2 preliminary rating locally on cable’s TNT. The preliminary rating may change by only a fraction, depending on the actual end time of the game.
The game had at least four times the primarily rating here of any game in the first day of the tournament, which had games on CBS as well as cable’s TNT, truTV and TBS.
And it surely was watched by many more fans in local establishments across Western New York.
However, UB's first-round loss to West Virginia a year ago -- when it received a Division I tournament bid for the first time in its history -- had an 11.1 rating. That is about 20 percent higher than this year's rating.
To put this year's rating in further perspective, the UB game had a higher rating than all four games combined carried Thursday on CBS affiliate Channel 4.
The top-rated game on Channel 4 Thursday was Duke’s win over UNC-Wilmington, which started off the day. It had a 2.3 rating. Yale’s upset of Baylor in the second game carried by Channel 4 had a 2.2 rating. Neither of the two prime time games even hit a 2.0 rating on Channel 4.
To put the UB game in further perspective, Buffalo Sabres games have been averaging about a 6.6 rating this season.
And the highest-rated entertainment program on a broadcast network Thursday was ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” which had a 7.6 rating on Channel 7.