Wichita State’s Sunday showdown against Cincinnati at Koch Arena was the most-watched American Athletic Conference game on CBS in the five-year history of the league.
The game, which pitted No. 11 WSU against No. 10 Cincinnati with the conference title on the line, delivered a 1.4 market overnight share on CBS. Cincinnati won the game 62-61 to secure sole possession of the AAC regular-season title.
It was the second-highest-rated college basketball game in a weekend 11 a.m. slot on CBS’ national platform this season, as measured by overnight ratings. The previous record for the AAC was a 2014 Louisville-Connecticut game that generated a 1.3 overnight rating.
“We schedule games to try to match our best teams at the end of the season,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said at Koch Arena before the game. “That’s been a formula that has worked for us in the past and we thought these two teams would be competing (for the title). This is exactly what we envisioned.”
Aresco said WSU has delivered exactly the boost to the American that he was hoping.
The Shockers sold out all nine of their home AAC games and led the conference in average home attendance at 10,787 (counting the Intrust Bank Arena game). Their impact was also felt around the conference when WSU traveled on the road, as attendance rose an average of 28 percent when the home team played WSU.
“What Wichita State has done, and I admire it to no end, I think the community and the team deserve a lot of credit for becoming a national brand,” Aresco said. “What Wichita has done is remarkable and we’re proud to have them in the conference and they’ve elevated the conference as we knew they would.”