Final Four TV ratings highest since '05

HOUSTON -- So much for the unlikely Final Four pairing of Virginia Commonwealth and Butler hurting TV ratings.

Saturday night's Final Four broadcast on CBS posted an 8.9 rating and a 17 share. That's tied for the highest since 2005.

Butler's 70-62 win over Virginia Commonwealth in the first game drew an 8.3 rating and averaged 14.2 million viewers while Connecticut's 56-55 win over Kentucky in the second game drew a 9.5 rating and pulled in 16.7 million viewers.

Overall ratings for the NCAA tournament are up more than 9 percent over last spring. The 6.2/13 is the highest average rating for the tournament through the Final Four since a 6.6/14 in 2005.

This was the first season of the NCAA's 14-year, $10.8 billion contract with CBS and Turner, which meant every game was televised nationally for the first time.