The 268th meeting between the state's flagship universities averaged a 2.2 rating, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed Big 12 regular-season conference game on ESPN since 1997. It was also the highest-rated and most-viewed Saturday game on the network since March 2008.
"Kansas and Kansas State treated college basketball fans across the country to one of the best games of the year and the audience numbers certainly reflected that," Senior Manager of Programming for ESPN Nick Dawson said. "The passion and atmosphere for GameDay and the game serve as an example of what makes college basketball exciting."
The high ratings for the Sunflower Showdown came on the heels of a record-crowd for ESPN's College GameDay Show earlier in the day, as 8,159 fans jammed into Bramlage Coliseum.
"I can't say enough about the passion our fans have shown this athletic season," said Athletics Director John Currie said. "The atmosphere during Saturday's game was the best I have ever experienced at a college basketball game and I'm excited that the rest of the country was able to witness the enthusiasm our fan base has for the Wildcats."