Home News Iowa vs. LSU game draws 12.3M viewers, record for NCAA women’s basketball

Iowa vs. LSU game draws 12.3M viewers, record for NCAA women’s basketball

Iowa’s rematch against Louisiana State University in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament has set a new record, pulling in 12.3 million viewers, according to ESPN.

It was a do-over for Iowa and Caitlin Clark, who lost last year’s tournament championship to Angel Reese and the Tigers. This year, the WNBA-bound phenom from Des Moines was able to get revenge, racking up 41 points and securing the victory 94-87. 

The matchup was not for an Elite Eight victory that now sends Iowa to the Final Four as the tournament continues.

Along with bringing in the highest viewership of any women’s college basketball game ever on ESPN’s platforms, the matchup saw the second-highest ratings of any college or pro basketball game since 2012, the network noted.

It exceeded the previous women’s college hoops record of 11.83 million viewers, which dates all the way back to the 1983 championship game between USC and Louisiana Tech.

Last year’s championship between LSU and Iowa raked in 9.9 million viewers.

This round of the Elite Eight, which concluded on Monday, had a total viewership that was up nearly 184% from last year’s round, according to ESPN.

Part of the spike in viewership was due to the growing popularity of Iowa’s Clark, who this year became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer for both men’s and women’s college basketball.

Other superstars in the sport have also emerged in recent years, including UConn’s Paige Bueckers, USC’s JuJu Watkins, Stanford’s Cameron Brink and LSU’s Reese.

“No matter which way it went tonight,” she said after the tough loss, “I knew this was going to be a night for the ages.”

Reese also took time to stand up for herself and address threats she’s received this season.

“I’ve been through so much,” she said. “I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times, death threats. I’ve been sexualized. I’ve been threatened. I’ve been so many things and I’ve stood strong every single time.”


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