The committee members now look like geniuses. They put CBS, and the NCAA, in a position to cash the policy. That would not be the case without Duke, the only team left with an ability to attract casual fans to the tube. The hardcore watch no matter who’s playing. Casual fans push the ratings needle.
Can Duke still drive up the ratings? Something to consider: Duke has not been to the Final Four since 2004 (duh). Its national profile, especially with casual eyeballs, is far lower. For this audience, Duke is neither as hated nor loved.