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Title game ratings shoot way up

By all accounts, the level of play in the NCAA men's basketball championship game Monday night rose to the occasion and was welcomed in a sport that this season had no school dominate and games that often seemed ragged and unwatchable.

Not so in Louisville's 82-76 victory Monday against Michigan

The national rating for the title game was up 14 percent over Kentucky's 67-59 win against Kansas for last year's NCAA men's basketball championship. Monday's game did a 14.0 rating, vs. 12.3 last year.

And across the CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV channels, the men's Division I basketball tournament was the most watched in 19 years, according to Nielsen numbers released Tuesday.

The 2013 tournament averaged 10.7 million total viewers, up 11 percent from last year's 9.6 million, and is the highest since the 11.2 million viewers for the 1994 tournament -- won by Arkansas over Duke.

Monday night's championship game averaged 23.4 million viewers, up 12 percent from last year's 20.9 million.