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Iowa-LSU showdown attracts report 12.3M viewers

Caitlin Clark, Iowa advance to Final Four in LSU rematch (3:02) Scott Van Pelt recaps Iowa’s 94-87 win over LSU, highlighted by an astounding 41-point night from Caitlin Clark. (3:02) ESPN News Services Apr 2, 2024, 06:46 PM ET Caitlin Clark can claim another record — the most watched women’s college basketball game in history.

Iowa-LSU showdown attracts report 12.3M viewers

Caitlin Clark, Iowa advance to Closing 4 in LSU rematch (3:02)

Scott Van Pelt recaps Iowa’s 94-87 win over LSU, highlighted by an astounding 41-point evening from Caitlin Clark. (3:02)

  • ESPN Information Companies

Apr 2, 2024, 06:46 PM ET

Caitlin Clark can declare one other report — probably the most watched ladies’s school basketball sport in historical past.

Iowa’s 94-87 victory over LSU within the Elite Eight of the ladies’s NCAA match Monday evening averaged 12.3 million viewers on ESPN, in keeping with Nielsen. That makes it one of many most-viewed video games in any sport apart from NFL soccer over the previous 12 months.

Iowa-LSU outdrew all however one of many 5 video games in final 12 months’s NBA Finals, together with the clinching sport of final 12 months’s World Collection (11.48 million).

Clark scored 41 factors because the Hawkeyes avenged final 12 months’s loss to the Tigers within the nationwide championship sport.

The viewership surpassed the 11.84 million who watched the 1983 NCAA championship sport between Southern California and Louisiana Tech. LSU coach Kim Mulkey performed for Louisiana Tech and was matched up in opposition to USC nice Cheryl Miller in that sport, which the Trojans received 64-58.

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It was additionally probably the most watched males’s or ladies’s school basketball sport ever on ESPN, greater than doubling the prior largest viewers.

According to ESPN, the 2002 ladies’s nationwide championship sport between UConn and Oklahoma had the previous mark at 5.68 million. ESPN’s most watched males’s sport was the 2008 regular-season matchup between Duke and North Carolina, which drew 5.61 million.

Just one males’s NCAA match sport this 12 months had greater viewership: North Carolina State’s win over Duke on Sunday within the males’s Elite Eight on CBS averaged 15.1 million.

In line with Sports activities Media Watch, it was probably the most considered basketball sport on ESPN since Recreation 7 of the 2018 Japanese Convention finals, when the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ victory over the Boston Celtics averaged 13.6 million.

UConn’s 80-73 win over USC, which was on after the Iowa sport, was the second most watched school sport in ESPN historical past at 6.7 million. ABC had each regional finals on Sunday, with South Carolina averaging 3.1 million in its win over Oregon State and North Carolina State drawing 2.5 million in opposition to Texas.

Clark’s 4 March Insanity video games on ESPN and ABC have averaged 6.83 million. Iowa will face UConn in Friday’s second nationwide semifinal on the Girls’s Closing 4 on ESPN. The winner will face both South Carolina or North Carolina State on Sunday. The nationwide championship sport will air on ABC.

The Hawkeyes’ 89-68 win over Colorado in Saturday’s regional semifinal averaged 6.9 million viewers on ABC.

Iowa’s previous 5 televised video games have surpassed 3 million viewers, together with the previous three which have drawn at the very least 4.9 million.

The 60 ladies’s match video games are averaging 1.5 million, a 127% improve over final 12 months.

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LSU’s victory over UCLA on Saturday, which preceded the Iowa sport, averaged 3.8 million, the second most watched Candy 16 sport on report.

“It is an ideal alternative to make the second a motion,” mentioned former Division I guard Isis Younger, now a broadcaster and analyst. “Proper now, ladies’s basketball is a motion … And the motion is basically using on the again of those gamers that we’re watching.”

And make no mistake: Individuals had been watching. Final 12 months’s LSU-Iowa nationwide championship sport on ABC drew 9.9 million viewers. Monday’s LSU-Iowa rematch, on cable, crushed that quantity.

Baseball had a no-hitter Monday evening; Ronel Blanco‘s gem for Houston in opposition to Toronto did not appear to seize consideration the best way the ladies’s NCAA match doubleheader of Iowa-LSU and UConn-USC did. Phoenix’s Devin Booker scored 52 factors, his league-high-tying third sport of fifty or extra this season, and it occurred whereas fellow NBA guards Damian Lillard and Patrick Beverley had been tweeting about freshman sensation JuJu Watkins and Clark.

“Caitlin Clark the reality,” provided New York Knicks ahead Josh Hart.

It’s a excellent storm. Even in defeat, LSU star Angel Reese understood the magnitude of the second.

“I believe it is simply nice for the game, simply having the ability to be part of historical past,” Reese mentioned Monday evening. “Like I mentioned, irrespective of which manner it went tonight, I do know this was going to be an evening for the ages. And simply having the ability to be part of historical past is nice.”

Data from The Related Press was used on this report.

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