College basketball sliding in Harris Poll of sport popularity

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

College basketball slid in the Harris Interactive Poll for sport popularity.  (USATSI)
College basketball slid in the Harris Interactive Poll for sport popularity. (USATSI)

The Harris Poll has been conducting a survey of "The Most Popular Sport in America" since 1985. Every year since the poll began, and especially in 2013, the winner has been the NFL.

When asked to pick a favorite sport, 35 percent of those polled chose the NFL. That total tops the next three answers -- MLB (14 percent), college football (11 percent) and auto racing (7 percent) -- combined.

College basketball finished with 5 percent of the vote in 2011 and 2012, but this year's poll shows a slight dip in sport favoritism to 3 percent.

Such a slight variation is not overly concerning, but it does oppose some of the recent statistics regarding the college hoops' crown jewel, the NCAA tournament. The 2013 NCAA tournament averaged 10.7 million total viewers, up 11 percent from 2012 and the highest average for the tournament in 19 years.

Full results of the Harris Interactive Poll:

NFL: 35 percent

MLB: 14 percent

College Football: 11 percent

Auto Racing: 7 percent

NBA: 6 percent

NHL: 5 percent

College Basketball: 3 percent

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