Caitlin Clark

Iowa-LSU matchup smashes all-time viewership record, ESPN announces

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Monday’s clash between Iowa and LSU not only featured two of the biggest basketball stars in the game today, but it also smashed a record that has stood for more than 40 years.

According to ESPN, the battle between Caitlin Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes and Angel Reese’s LSU Tigers drew 12.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched women’s college basketball game of all time.

According to Sports Media Watch, that number eclipses the 11.84 million that watched USC defeat Louisiana Tech in the championship game of the 1983 Final Four.

What’s more, ESPN also announced that the 12.3 million viewers that tuned in represented the largest viewing audience for a college basketball game in the network’s history.

Needless to say, the rematch of the 2023 championship game lived up to the billing. Seeking vengeance for last year’s loss, Clark played all 40 minutes for the Hawkeyes, racking up 41 points and 12 assists as she led Iowa back to the Final Four.

Clark is the only player since assists became an official statistic in the 1990s to hit the 40-10 mark in points and assists in an NCAA tournament game, and she has now done it twice in her career, according to Stats Inc.

Sydney Affolter scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds for the Hawkeyes, and Kate Martin scored 21 points as Iowa earned a hard-fought win.

Now, the Hawkeyes will face the UConn Huskies in the Final Four on Friday. If they win, they could potentially have to face an undefeated South Carolina squad in the championship game on Sunday, a matchup that would almost certainly break the all-time record yet again.

Contact Us