UNC-Duke the most-watched weeknight men’s college basketball game in ESPN history
The battle between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday night was the most watched weeknight men’s collegiate basketball game in ESPN history, according to Anna Negron of ESPN Media Zone.
North Carolina went on to defeat Duke by a score of 88-72.
The matchup pulled in 4,343,000 viewers, per a Nielsen report. That surpassed the previous record of 4,140,000, which was also for a game between North Carolina and Duke back in February 2015.
Overall, it was the fifth-most watched college basketball game in ESPN history, and was the most-watched since 2014 when Duke and Syracuse faced off.
Of course, fans were not exactly treated to the game they hoped, as Duke phenom Zion Williamson went down with a knee injury on the Blue Devils’ first possession of the game.
It was a bizarre scene, as Williamson’s Nike sneaker gave out, causing the 18-year-old’s foot to tear through his shoe. That resulted in Williamson slipping and going to the ground in an awkward manner.
Fortunately, the top prospect was not too badly injured, as he only suffered a mild knee sprain, but it was certainly a scary moment in which Williamson’s No. 1 pick hopes probably flashed before his eyes.
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound big man is considered one of the most unique college players in recent memory, with some likening him to Charles Barkley. The general consensus is that Williamson will be the first overall pick in the NBA Draft this June.