Courtesy NCAA

NEW YORK — The NCAA championship game earned its highest television rating since 2005.

Duke’s 61-59 win over Butler on Monday night on CBS earned a 14.2 fast national rating and 23 share. That’s up 31 percent from the 10.8/18 for North Carolina’s blowout against Michigan State last year.

It’s the best rating since a 15.0/23 for North Carolina-Illinois in 2005. More than 48 million viewers watched at least some of the game, the most since 50 million tuned in for Arizona-Kentucky in 1997 when the population was smaller.

The entire tournament averaged a 6.0 rating, up 5 percent from last season.

Ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.

In this report by the Associated Press, we see the efforts of CBS and the NCAA paying off with impressive ratings for Duke’s victory over Butler, Monday.

Personally, I wouldn’t know where to begin with 48 million viewers watching any one sporting event at a single time. But it does more than begin to explain the must-see aspect behind these games.

As soon as one is done, we’re on to the next. The Master’s was looking more like ‘may-see if someone loses the remote’ type of TV…That is, until Tiger decided to show up.

Sure, society has all but signed a petition banning Tiger Woods from golf forever, but are we truly concerned? I’ll side with the sensible sports fan and say no, we aren’t too upset…well, not as upset as Tiger.

Are we bothered Tiger achieved Hugh Hefner status while dominating the game of golf for a decade straight? Nah. It gets a chuckle out of the sports fans I know. Right or wrong, we’re not hoping they win a humanitarian award.

Do we care how any different kinds of illegal substances David Ortiz may or may not have used helping the Red Sox win two Championships for the Sox? Not really. More star players than we care to admit were juicing since before we had their RC’s.

In Major League Baseball, steroids potentially altered the outcomes of games with players performing above their normal capacity. It’s understood that so many were doing it, however, it wasn’t the ‘worst’ type of cheating…From the sports fans perspective anyway.

Yes, steroids are bad. Yes, cheating on your wife will get you on the cover of every sports section in the US…If you’re Tiger Woods.  But we accept it. It’s understood. If the culture in professional sports doesn’t change, who are we to judge what will inevitably come to pass?

You are an awful role model, Mr. Woods. You disgraced your family and embarrassed the PGA.

With that in mind, who wants to come over to my place and watch Tiger drive a par 5 green in 2, and hit a ball further with his putter than you can with your 3-wood? I think we can all agree on that.

Don’t worry about the ratings either. And guess who you can thank for those once again?