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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., March 25) -- little love for NCAA hoops

Two down-to-the-wire games, including a high-scoring, double OT matchup between Kansas State and Xavier, failed to ignite much interest in Thursday's NCAA "Sweet 16" matchups.

CBS began coverage at 6 p.m. and didn't finish until 11:32 p.m., when K State finally prevailed over Xavier. The 6:30 to 7 p.m. portion of Butler-Syracuse foreshadowed the overall scant interest. Drawing just 88,222 D-FW viewers in that half-hour, it was even beaten by NBC5's Storm Zone special (128,940 viewers). The syndicated Access Hollywood on Fox4 also drew a bigger crowd (101,795 viewers).

ABC's FlashForward topped the 7 to 8 p.m. ratings with 176,444 viewers, followed by Fox's Bones repeat (156,085 viewers) and basketball (135,726 viewers).

A new episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy (318,956 viewers) dominated the 8 p.m. hour, with basketball pulling into a distant second place with 183,230 viewers.

ABC also won at 9 p.m. with Private Practice (203,589 viewers) while NBC's The Marriage Ref (183,230 viewers) ran second and basketball drooped to third with 122,153 viewers.

It got no better between 10 and 10:30 p.m., when basketball was routed by the local newscasts on WFAA8 and NBC5. Hoops finally scored in the final hour of the Kansas State-Xavier game, drawing 149,299 viewers to hold off Jay Leno's Tonight Show (128,940).

The numbers for NCAA basketball were only slightly better among advertiser-favored 18-to-49-year-olds, where hoops managed to outdraw NBC5's Storm Zone at 6:30 p.m. but still trailed Access Hollywood.

Over on TNT, the Dallas Mavericks' late night road loss to Portland averaged 108,581 viewers.

In local news derby results, WFAA8 swept a downsized 10 p.m. competition with wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 again controlled the 6 a.m. Nielsens, stretching its two-pronged winning streak to seven straight weekdays.

The Peacock also ran the table at 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers, with Fox4 doing likewise among 25-to-54-year-olds.