Without March Madness, college basketball fans tune in to classic tournament games on CBS

It was a play so good it became known in college basketball as “The Shot.” A Grant Hill heave. A Christian Laettner turn around. Kentucky heartbreak. Duke elation.

The 1992 Elite Eight matchup between Kentucky and Duke is considered by many to be the greatest college basketball game ever. The game-winning jump shot by Laettner that sent Duke to the Final Four might be the most iconic shot ever. Now, 28 years later, a whole new generation experienced a moment for the first time that older generations will never forget. CBS is airing NCAA Tournament games of old in timeslots reserved for a 2020 version that never happened.

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Kentucky fans, again, feel the pain.

Duke fans, and basketball fans in general, feel the rush.

When trends on Twitter include once-famous names that have disappeared from the public eye, it usually isn’t good. It might mean they’ve died. Or worse, they’ve been “canceled” by an unforgiving mob of social media users. But last Sunday, names like Laettner were trending because fans were consumed by a game, even if it was from nearly three decades ago.

According to Show Buzz Daily, over one million people tuned in to watch CBS’s nostalgic games at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday. The viewership certainly doesn’t compare to what a live tournament game would have gotten in a Sunday time slot, but it is nearly up to par with the Missouri Valley Conference championship game on Sunday afternoon two weeks prior.

The throwback games also didn’t have hearty competition on a Sunday free of live sports. Still, the rating has proven enough to make CBS provide another Sunday afternoon chalked full with classic tourney games. The network has also filled the entire CBS Sports channel with classic games for the next week.

What games should be shown?

Recent games like the Villanova vs. North Carolina championship game or Texas A&M’s improbable comeback against UNI are instant classics from 2016.

What classic college basketball games are on CBS?

Here’s the CBS schedule for Sunday, March 29.

A strong slate of old games includes five heavyweight programs: Villanova, Georgetown, Arizona, Kentucky and Duke. It also includes Butler, the Cinderella team that made back-to-back appearances in the championship game. The games begin at 1 p.m. ET and will play throughout the afternoon.

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