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LSU-Iowa rematch was the most watched NCAA women's basketball game ever

2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago Tuesday, April 02 2024 Apr 2, 2024 April 02, 2024 5:13 PM April 02, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — LSU's loss to Iowa in the Elite Eight on Monday night was the most watched NCAA women's basketball game of all time.

The 94-87 game in Albany, New York, racked in 12.3 million viewers, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. Last year's national championship, also between LSU and Iowa, brought in about 9.9 million viewers. 

According to The Athletic, last year’s title game was somewhat of an anomaly. The previous record for an NCAA women’s basketball title game in the ESPN era (since 1996) was 5.68 million viewers for UConn’s title win over Oklahoma in 2002.

The previous all-time record, per Sports Media Watch, is believed to be the 11.84 million viewers for the University of Southern California-Louisiana Tech final matchup on CBS in 1983.

In addition to setting the record for women's college basketball, Monday's game also had more viewers than multiple men's sporting events including the 2023 NBA Finals, World Series, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl and every 2023 college football regular season game, save for Ohio State vs. Michigan. 

This year's rematch between LSU and Iowa had multiple factors leading to its higher than normal viewership, including the controversy surrounding the Washington Post's article about Kim Mulkey and Iowa guard Caitlin Clark's record-breaking season where she surpassed Pete Maravich to become the highest scorer in NCAA history.

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